NACHW CHW Leaders – Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson

About “Our Race to Health Equity”

NACHW, together with Johnson & Johnson, would like to introduce you to CHW leaders from across the nation!

As part of our “Race to Health Equity” initiative, Johnson & Johnson is highlighting the voices of CHWs – we aspire to raise the profile of this profession to accomplish the goal of eradicating racial and social injustice as a public health threat for people of color.

Core Values:

  • Empathy: Understanding the people we serve and the people who make up our communities of color in the U.S.
  • Care: Taking the scale of our organization and deploying our resources to support communities who are suffering from health inequities in the U.S.
  • Trust: Building lasting and meaningful partnerships and initiatives that demonstrate our commitment and overall resolve to be a trusted partner with communities of color in the U.S.

Get to know your CHW leaders!

Johnson & Johnson, as part of our commitment to create enduring alliances, would like to highlight the work of CHW leaders from the National Association of Community Health Workers.

CHW Leaders:


Name: Danina Battle

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): danina.battle@live.com

Home Organization: The Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia INC

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization:

  • Assist individuals in the community living with Sickle Cell
  • Encourage, educate, and promote individuals affected by Sickle cell to live a healthy life with nutrition and dietary needs, support groups, mental health resources, stress-free planning
  • Mother-to-baby education on Sickle Cell disease
  • Listen to clients’ needs/concerns while treating and managing Sickle Cell
  • Advocate for clients with physicians, primary care, and specialty Dr’s
  • Education and community resource connections for food, clothing, housing, transportation, legal assistance, etc.
  • Chronic disease crisis mediation

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • Being a support system for all my clients to live a fulfilled life
  • Individuals w/SCD to heath care services and encourage maintenance in routine care
  • Assisting a young adult transitioning from experiencing homelessness to being housed, gaining employment, gathering household furniture items, and living a well sustained and thriving lifestyle while teaching him necessary life skills to continue his success
  • Advocating for an elderly woman to receive food stamp assistance and access to food and vital medical equipment and services through Medicaid and receiving medical transportation for this woman to live a healthy lifestyle before her passing

Name: Nikki St. Germain

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email):  Nstgermain@greaternewarkhcc.org

Home Organization: Greater Newark Health Care Coalition

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization:

  • Program and project management across all the following initiatives
  • Maternal Health Strategies/ Child & Family Health
  • Neighborhood-based strategies
  • Faith-based initiatives
  • COVID-19 Initiatives
  • Collaboration with internal and external partners
  • Program reporting and program evaluations
  • Supervision and support to CHW’s
  • Quality improvement for CHW projects
  • Leading and facilitating regional CHW Learning Collaboratives

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

The proudest moments for me are the advancements of our current CHW’s and CHW’s within my region including creating Leadership opportunities and professional development. Always proud to advocate on behalf of the CHW workforce in various spaces and audiences. A proud advancement in Maternal Health portfolio including the expansion of the “Centering Pregnancy Model”.


Name: Lucy Nguyen

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): Lucy@aachi.org

Home Organization: AACHI – Austin Asian Community Health Initiative

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization:

AACHI CHWs provide healthcare navigation for Austin’s Asian immigrant subpopulations, including the Burmese, Korean, Nepali, Vietnamese, Syrian, Iraqi, and other Arabic speaking communities. AACHI helps our communities through Patient advocacy, Health navigation education, Interpretation/translation support, Referrals to local resources and Eligibility & Application Assistance.

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • Finalist for Austin’s 40 under 40
  • Last fiscal year we helped  94% of our clients have received or maintained health insurance with AACHI’s assistance.
  • AACHI successfully assisted roughly 50 immigrant families with RENT, utility, and winter storm financial assistance totaling over $100k in aid

Name: Rosa Perez

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): rosaperez@elsolnec.org

Home Organization: El Sol Nec

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization:

  • Enrollment in Medicaid
  • COVID 19 Education/ Vaccine Equity
  • Provide community resources to families, adults, and seniors
  • Language interpretation (English/Spanish)
  • Access to overcome social determinates of health
  • Connecting patients to mental health services

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • Continuing education in the CHW role and expertise.

Name: Dianne Jones

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): 56devans@gmail.com

Home Organization: New Birth Ministries

Description of Day to Day activities in your home organization:

  • Over the phone resource navigating with individuals who are experiencing homelessness and reentry some while incarcerated
  • Crisis intervention reentry planning visiting the individual in times of need; incarceration and hospitalization
  • Following the judicial journey of decreasing sentencing
  • Teaching resiliency to youth and families pre/post-incarceration
  • Advocating for families of youth who are incarcerated to judicial officials on their behalf
  • Spiritual outreach to connect folks with a ministry that fits their beliefs
  • Youth empowerment includes directing young people towards mental health services, job development, and housing
  • Transporting youth who are considered “unsafe” by their experience with community gun violence to services they need

Proud moments or achievements in your role: As a youth program director, I have had the opportunity to watch them grow into program directors themselves. Experiential learning of going out and having a first-hand view of how to change policy and inviting them into spaces such as congress and the White House. Overseeing the transformation of youth and adults re-enter the community as productive citizens by going to


Name: Andrea Krotzer-Burton

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): LinkedIn

Home Organization: Everyday Life Consulting, LLC

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization: Training and mentoring and being an ally for CHWs. Connecting and consulting with surrounding states CHW associations on best practices and authentic CHW identity.

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • Nominated and Awarded “Shining Star” by United Way
  • Trained and mentored over 500 local Community Health Workers in the Central Michigan area

Name: Lorna A. Osterback

Contact information: Lornao@eatribes.net

Home Organization: Eastern Aleutian Tribes, Inc.

Proud moments or achievements in your role: The COVID-19 pandemic brought stress and severe mental health complications due to unprocessed grief and feelings for individuals of all ages. People bled with distrust of each other and, anger, hate and a lot of hostility. This great uncertainty fueled PTSD, DV, alcoholism and child abuse to name a few. A giant melting pot of unprocessed emotions sandwiched the lack of primary needs had everyone on edge. It was during the first year of the outbreak I partnered up with our behavioral health worker to do outreach with the local elementary kids and their families. The primary plan was to have the children paint their feelings and process. He had all the supplies, but not an artistic ability. He had tried and shared the poor results: scribbles and a large pile of poop. I asked him to repaint the canvases white, pick themes and I would help him achieve his goal. We waited for the COVID-19 cases to diminish and the weather to cooperate then set a day and time for the community painting. The only safe open area was the ambulance bay here at the clinic. Permission was requested to utilize the space and once granted the ambulance was pulled out and parked off to the side. A makeshift art studio was set up with tables, an array of paints, brushes paper towels and water cups, 3 large canvases each outlined with tape lay upon each table. The 3 themes a fish, nature specifically mountains and a triangle kaleidoscope. All projects allowed for the artists to have multiple creativity with each piece. The garage door remained open allowing air circulation and masks were provided and worn, hand sanitizer available at each table. This was the first activity that allowed socialization and gathering, the turnout was fair. What I saw and felt is that people are resilient when they work on a common goal they enjoy. Everyone had a great time and there was laughter.  The simplicity of art brought both parents and children a venue to release and find normalcy in an unforced way: healing through art. The artwork traveled out to the main office and has not been seen since. Together we can achieve so much more than we can apart, positivity is key.


Name: Gary Ringer

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email):  LinkedIn

Home Organization: Detroit Fire Dept. and Joy Southfield CDC

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization:

  • Emergency response services throughout vulnerable communities in the Metro Detroit Michigan area, going beyond the reactive methods to reach community members and their root inequities
  • Creating a model of wrap-around services that do not end once the crisis has been resolved but continue to support families through life-changing resources
  • Bridging the gap for families in need who meet Gary while in crisis to remain enrolled in services that promote a culture of health and well-being 

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • Gary participates in the Detroit bipartisan policy center also known as Michigan Political Leadership Program sponsored through Michigan State University
  • Bringing awareness to Community Health Workers to increase the quality of life for community residents accessing services through First Responders by practicing methods such as trauma-informed care and mental health first aid
  • Working concurrently with Frontline responders and community health workers to ensure a continuum of care, therefore, creating a health equity team; replicating models from EMS Providers in Phoenix Arizona.

Name: Phillip “Change Agent” Cooper

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): LinkedIn

Organization: Operation Gateway and United Way

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • Working with a returning citizen who fell under “The First Step Act” and provided advocacy for transition into her community and walked along side as she completed many goals including Homeownership through Habitat for Humanity.
  • Leading a regional initiative to alleviate racial stigma in African American Men in North Carolina.
  • Phillip transitioned into his community with family support but still faced many challenges and through this lens he was able to connect with other individuals who were coming into their communities from the prison system, he used to the tools and resources in his knowledge to assist other in navigating the necessary outlets to a successful passage from prison to community.

Description of Day-to-Day activities in your home organization:

  • Collaborating with stakeholders in North Carolina
  • Mentoring with other CHW’s on topics such as peer support and mental health and behavioral health awareness
  • Marrying the identities of Peer Support Workers and CHW’s ensuring that they are pitted against each other and are working unilaterally

Name: Maria Ortiz-Covernali

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): Mcovernali@yahoo.com

Home Organization: Familias Triunfadoras

Description of Day to Day activities in your home organization:

  • Working with families and children in need daily and resource navigating in San Elizario near El Paso, Texas
  • Food pantry, shelter, permanent housing,
  • Immigrants and farmworkers feel welcome and invited to seek services to promote a better life for themselves and their families
  • Maria goes into the farm fields to meet the clients where they are and ask their needs
  • Has implemented COVID education and resources such as masks and care packages that include hand sanitizer so that the community can stay safe

Proud moments or achievements in your role: Maria finds joy in serving her community and her people be healthy and well-informed and feels that her real salary is seeing families receive food and clean clothes. She feels very rewarded by helping others and finds time to take care of herself so that she can continue to do this work for a long long time.


Name: Dean Jones

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): jonesdean80@yahoo.com

Home Organization: Hoop Wave Sports Mentoring and Compass Youth Collaborative

Description of Day to Day activities in your home organization:

  • Violence Prevention
  • Case Management Model
  • Work with victims and perpetrators of gun violence
  • 4-year program for individuals 16-20 years old
  • Meeting youth where they are

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

Seeing young people go to college, start a career, trade school, get back into education, and recover from injuries successfully. Seeing Compass grow in the community.


Name: Lucia Colindres-Vasquez

Contact information (LinkedIn, Email): chwarochester@gmail.com

Home Organization: Community Health Workers Association of Rochester, Inc.

Description of Day to Day activities in your home organization:

  • I work with CHWAR’sboard of directors to carry the mission of the organization (advocacy and developing leadership opportunities for CHWs in our area.  Our board is 100% represented by CHWs working in the field.  
  • Hold training for CHWs in the area – 96 hours training and we provide mentoring to new CHWs.
  • Work in collaboration with a local group.
  • Hold community events for CHWs in our area- COVID-19 free test kits drive and opportunity for boosters.  “Celebrating nutrition and self-care pop up event ”

Proud moments or achievements in your role:

  • When I got an award from my peer CHWs and a proclamation for CHWAR’s 20th anniversary. 
  • Our first-class of CHWs who graduated from our program.