Brenda Olivia Sanchez has come on board as our new Border/Binational Program Coordinator. In 2018 Brenda graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Public Health and a BA in Spanish Translation and Interpretation. During her senior year, Brenda came to SEAHEC as an intern from September 2018 to May 2019. In June, 2019, she came on as a new program coordinator. Brenda oversees SEAHEC programs related to health issues and services along the borderlands. This includes acting as liaison between partners involved in SEAHEC’s border program. Most recently, Brenda helped to plan and implement an increasingly successful service learning course focused on migration issues. Partners include the University of Arizona’s Health Sciences Center, Arizona State University School of Social Work, and Casa Alitas, a migrant services facility in Tucson, run by Catholic Community Services Inc. She also acts as SEAHEC’s liaison to the Mexican Consulate of Douglas, as coordinator for their Ventanilla de Salud program in Winchester Heights, Cochise County, Graham County and Greenlee County. Brenda supports our community health workers in Winchester Heights, helping with the development and implementation of SEAHEC’s Healthy Farms Environmental Health Program, which was founded as a result of the 2017 Community Environmental Health Assessment we conducted with the residents Winchester Heights. The health assessment drew the attention of the US Environmental Protection Agency, which provided funding and technical assistance to develop and implement a community health worker driven environmental health program in Winchester Heights. The program is part of SEAHEC’s model for helping residents of rural border communities turn the tables on health disparities through creating basic infrastructure that supports efforts to improve public health outcomes.
One of Brenda’s notable accomplishments to date is developing and implementing the 2019 interprofessional and binational health conference, “Border Health-Information for Action,” hosted by SEAHEC and partners. With an attendance of 190 people the conference was extremely successful. Brenda has also recently become a Certified Health Education Specialist, “because of my interest in preventive health care and health education. It also directly benefits my work with promotores in Winchester Heights,” She said.
Working at SEAHEC, Brenda says she feels she can begin to fulfill her dream of returning to her community, to make a difference.
“I feel that the work I do with SEAHEC is meaningful and directly impacts lives in the communities we work with. I’ve always wanted to help my community and I feel that through my position at SEAHEC, I am able to do that.”