Yolanda Cruz is thankful to be able to continue doing work with the New Mexico Health Equity Partnership, Human Impact Partners, and communities throughout New Mexico. Yolanda has been involved in many initiatives, mainly in Las Vegas NM, to help create positive changes related to health and community. She lives in the Sangre de Cristo mountains with her family and an ever-growing assortment of pets and can usually be found enjoying the curiosity and energy of her granddaughter.
As a young adult, planning out her career, Yolanda was an accounting major – working for a CPA and on track to crunch numbers and crank out financial reports. Life led her down a different path, however, and her adventures directed her towards raising her hand, volunteering, speaking out, and asking the never ending question of “but why?”, as well as realizing the best way to make a difference is to get involved. Many of you may remember Yolanda as part of the HEP team, although she has returned to work in her hometown, Yolanda has enthusiastically joined other volunteers to help build HIA capacity in New Mexico.
“I have chosen to do work that helps improve my community and the world around us, because we are all connected, we are all related. I love to listen to people, and helping to bring their stories to the forefront can help us to better understand one another and to stand together to change our world so that it is better for everyone.”
Estefany González Mendoza
Estefany González Mendoza is an immigrant from Chihuahua, Mexico who has lived in the South Valley of Albuquerque, NM for most of her life. She holds a Dual Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Spanish. As a community organizer her interest has always been in making sure the community are always at the center of her work, being a resource for her community, and furthermore developing the leadership skills of the community themselves. Estefany has been involved in many initiatives both locally and nationally. She is interested in obtaining her Masters Degree in Public Health in order to be able to further help underprivileged, immigrant, communities of color have greater access to resources and health. Being a part of the HIA as a Technical Assistant is a great opportunity because it will further help her develop her knowledge in how she can partake in addressing the social determinants of health which impact underprivileged communities throughout New Mexico.
My interest in a HIA TA provider stems from the many opportunities to educate rural and frontier organizations on the benefits of a Health Impact Assessment, including empowering and mobilizing partnerships to bring forward positive outcomes It has been my objective to bring understanding to communities in the foundations of the Social Determinants of Health, Health in All Policies, and Health Impact Assessments; provide leadership high-quality data collected on interventions; economic and equity evaluations; and findings shared with the public community.
As a result, the approaches benefit many marginalized populations on the social hierarchy while leaders are better informed and can mobilize policy to benefit all people where they live and age.
“Although my experience with HIAs have been scarce, the information has been invaluable and I am excited to learning the detailed process.”
I am interested in being a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Technical Assistant because I believe that it is a great opportunity to collaborate with organizations interested in incorporating health into policy. Previously I worked as a technical assistant on the Dona Ana PLACE MATTERS HIA focusing on access to parks and multi-use trails throughout the County.
“I do the work that I do to contribute to my community so that more people may live fulfilling lives with access to equitable opportunities.”