Members of the Steering Committee began assembling in June of 2007 to work on the continued development of the Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition. We realized that there was a need for a tremendous amount of work “behind the scenes.” We invited leaders who expressed interest in, commitment to, and experience in working toward the health and well being of Latinos in Milwaukee.
Luis Arzaluz, Centro Hispano Representative and Co-Chair Best Policies & Practice Action Team
From Toluca, Mexico, Luis graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors in Economics, and soon after graduation moved to NYC where he worked in health policy research at the Institute for Family Health regarding increasing access to medical care for Medicaid patients. He also worked in Washington DC in health care administration as a program coordinator at a 24/7 medical facility for homeless men in addictions recovery. He is currently a Trinity Fellow at Marquette University completing a Masters in Applied Financial Economics. He enjoys exploring Milwaukee as he is new to city.
Michelle Corbett, Latino Research Group Co-Chair
Michelle has served on the MLHC Steering Committee since October 2013. She is an Assistant Researcher at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Center for Urban Population Health where she currently is the lead evaluator on four multi-year projects focused on improving health outcomes among Milwaukee residents. She is also the evaluation specialist for the Lifecourse initiative for Healthy Families Regional Program Office, providing technical assistance to the initiative’s four community Collaboratives. Previously, Michelle worked for several years in community-engaged public health research in Connecticut and El Salvador. While living in Nicaragua, she co-developed and directed a promotora training program in rural communities. Michelle has a Masters in Community Health Education and is a certified health education specialist.
Gabriela Dieguez, Mental Health Action Team Chair
Gabriela Dieguez, LCSW earned her Masters in Social Work at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has worked as a bilingual therapist for seven years at Sixteenth Street Community Health Center providing services to an inner city population in Milwaukee. Most of the people that she serves are Latinos with incomes below the poverty level. She works with individuals and families who come with diverse mental health needs including anxiety, depression and behavioral problems in their children. She has also collaborated in two research projects, one with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Behavioral Activation for Latinos and the other with Marquette University on Attention Deficit Disorders in Latino Children. Mrs. Dieguez pursued the career of social worker because she loves to relate to people. She enjoys working with people as they go through their process of growth, discovering their strengths and amplifying their community connections.
Dina Garcia, Latino Research Group Co-Chair
Dina Garcia, MPH, is an interdisciplinary public health researcher that is currently a doctoral candidate at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) where her current research interests include diversifying the public health workforce, health disparities, multidisciplinary approaches to diabetes and oral health comorbidities, as well as the social, cultural, and environmental determinants of health. She received her MPH in epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and previously served as the Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS) Epidemiologist for the Texas Department of State Health Services. Through her wide-ranging national and international work in the People’s Republic of China, she has gained experience in applied epidemiology, data management and analysis, disease surveillance, emergency disaster management, outbreak investigations, and survey development. She currently serves as the co-chair for the coalition’s Latino Research Group. Her civic engagements include being a co-founder of Cientificas de Milwaukee, the only bilingual and bicultural Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) enrichment program targeting Latina elementary and middle school girls in Milwaukee; she is part of the first cohort of PAVE’s Board Corps Program; served as a mentor for the National HSHPS Student Mentorship Program for Hispanic Health Research, and represents the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation as Miss Mexican Fiesta Ambassador 2014.
Caroline Gomez, Best Policies & Practices Action Team Co-Chair
Caroline Gomez has been a Healthcare Outreach Specialist for Covering Kids and Families since February 2011. As a licensed Navigator, she leads efforts of enrollment and community outreach for the Latino community in Milwaukee. She also provides Affordable Care Act support and resources to health care partners statewide through her relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. She joined the Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition in January 2014 and is not the co-chair for the Best Policies and Practices Action Team. Caroline has her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an emphasis in Social Policy.
Marwill Santiago, Education Action Team Representative
Although he was born in Puerto Rico and spent periods of his youth on the island, he is proud to call Milwaukee his hometown. As a young college student at UW-Milwaukee studying Political Science, he started working at Milwaukee Area Technical College as a bilingual educational assistant in a unique program where students earned HSED’s along with a technical diplomas in Printing and Publishing. Shortly after graduating from UW-Milwaukee, an opportunity presented itself in the college’s Recruitment Department. Since 2007, he has been working with high school students from all over the Milwaukee area as a representative of the college to ensure everyone understands the benefits of a post-secondary education at a technical college. Recently, he has been assigned to work with the School of Health Sciences to serve as a point-of-contact for prospective students who are interested starting a career as a health service provider. He is excited to work with the Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition in this capacity to attract more Latinos and Latinas to this profession.