Meet the Team: Gabrielle Peñaranda, Program Manager, Training and Technical Assistance

Welcome to our blog series, “Meet the AAPCHO Team,” where you’ll have a chance to get to know our staff! Meet Gabrielle Peñaranda, Program Manager, Training and Technical Assistance, as she answers some questions.

What’s your role at AAPCHO?

I am the Program Manager of Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA). I’ll be focusing on diabetes prevention and improving population health.

What are Asian American (AA), Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander (NH/PI) health topics that you think people should know about?

  • Mental health and wellness. Asian American attitudes toward mental healthcare can be surrounded by stigma. I hope to see mental health and wellness accepted as essential aspects of overall individual health. For many AA and NH/PI, our own identities are part of the barriers to seeking and accessing mental health resources.
  • Environmental justice. The connection between global environmental issues and community health is not always clear. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, poor air quality, extreme temperature, and flooding are just some impacts that disproportionately affect underserved populations and communities of color. I hope to see environmental justice become a more widely discussed topic in community health care and public education.

How would you describe what community health centers do and why they should support them to someone who may not be familiar with them?

Community health centers (CHCs) aim to provide care to those who need it. Period! Specifically, CHCs offer access to care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. This is immensely important considering that people of color are less likely to seek care and many ethnic groups have a mistrust of physicians. CHCs should be supported because they seek to provide quality care and services to underserved communities and individuals.

What are you most looking forward to in your new position at AAPCHO?

As much as I’m looking forward to facilitating an educative experience in this role, I am just as eager to be a student and learn from my AAPCHO colleagues and other National Training and Technical Assistance Partners. I’m excited to be a resource for AAPCHO members and facilitate substantive learning experiences.

What is your favorite or go-to childhood comfort food?

Boxed mac and cheese, sago at gulaman, hot cheetos

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AAPCHO

AAPCHO

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The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations — dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership to improve AA and NHPI health.