In Utah, across the country, and throughout history, Community Health Workers have been at the forefront of public health emergencies, much like the Coronavirus pandemic. They advocate for change, improve access to the quality of care, and increase cultural awareness of services delivered. A Community Health Worker’s role is intersectional and known by many names. They can be health educators, resource connectors, liaisons, trainers, interpreters, but at their core, they are effective advocates for a community’s needs, because often, they come from the communities they serve. They are trusted voices on the frontlines and women/womxn have long led out in this profession, with an estimated 70% of global community health workers identifying as women in 2019. Generally, they speak against injustice, center empathy in crisis, and inspire change through policies and practices.
In honor of Women/Womxn’s History Month, the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs is highlighting the stories of frontline advocates making a difference during the pandemic. We present highlights on community health workers who identify as women/womxn across Utah that are constantly driving health equity and impactful change in their work. Their responses address how we can collectively #ChooseToChallenge the issues of women’s equity today for all women in Utah. May we honor, support, and uplift their efforts and those of other women health workers for improved health outcomes across our communities and beyond this pandemic.
Read more about Oreta Masina Mapu-Tupola who said she chooses to “see the good, fight for good, and do good every day for one person, one community, one state, one nation at a time until the day that I too will become a part of those women who have passed that also chose to challenge.”
Also read contributions frmo Jeannette Villalta, Anna Nguyen, Yehemy Zavala Orozco, Rebecca Benally, Susi Feltch-Malohifo’ou, Betty Sawyer, Darcie Chamberlain, Shaundeen Romans, Katarina Benally and Valerina Deswood as they #choosetochallenge issues of women’s equity, access to healthcare and lack of diversity.
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