Note: Please scroll all the way to the bottom to review all nominations.

Coalition & Executive CHW Co-Chair Nominees

Alma is a Lead CHW with the Wyandotte Health Department and Community Health Council of Kansas City, Kansas.  Alma was born in Juarez, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1996 with little more than a suitcase of clothes and her daughter.  After years of hard work, Alma became a naturalized citizen in 2000.   From her own personal struggle Alma understands the problems immigrants experience every day and how to overcome them. 

After receiving her certificate as a Community Health Worker, Alma has received over 20 certificates from a dozen agencies in all areas of Community Health.  Alma is always looking for additional training to better serve the community.  Alma would like to see CHW education and standards result in consistent, quality CHWs throughout the state.

Alma started her own 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Mision Alcance, Inc., to train other agencies, community centers and clinics in the basics of CHW work.  Alma has trained over 50 volunteers and CHWs to date and has assisted people and agencies in six countries.

Alma was recognized by the bilingual newspaper Dos Mundos during Women’s History Month for her outstanding work in the Latino community.  Alma hosts a weekly radio show called La Entrivista (“The Interview”), where local agencies share their services, educating the community about the programs and services in their area. La Entrivista has quickly become one of the most popular Latino radio shows in the Latino community.

Alma has enjoyed seeing thousands of people over past 15 years become self-sufficient in a more healthy community.

Coalition & Executive Ally Co-Chair Nominee

Elaine Johannes is an associate professor and extension specialist in youth development in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Kansas State University. Johannes has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in adult and community counseling, and a doctorate in life span human development from the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University.

In 2014, Elaine won the College of Human Ecology’s Dean Barbara Stowe Professional Development Award for her work in adolescent health, and in 2010 was awarded the Faculty Extension Excellence award for her community-based, health promotion work featuring youth/adult partnerships. Having been awarded a contract by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Johannes completes Kansas’ first adolescent health needs assessment for the state’s federal Title V grant. The results of that assessment led to two USDA/SAMHSA grants to index behavioral health needs. Johannes serves on the Kansas Maternal and Child Health Council for the Department of Health and Environment. She also serves on the national APLU’s Extension Committee on Planning Health Initiative.

As a member of the K-State Research and Extension faculty, Johannes focuses on youth development, adolescent health, and community engagement. In addition to teaching courses for Great Plains-IDEA, Elaine manages grant-funded projects that promote health through youth/adult partnerships, as well as building the capacity of rural communities to promote positive youth development. Her applied research promotes “youth voice”, social connection and resilience among families and adolescents in poverty.

Prior to joining K-State Research and Extension in 1991, Johannes provided community-based services to older adults and their families in 18 counties as the director of community services for the North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging. In that capacity, she also established a rural housing authority and a housing rehabilitation function for the agency.

Nominee for Education Committee CHW Co-Chair

Denise Romero of Wichita, KS has found that she has an ambitious side and a strong impulse to accomplish something significant and in her community. Her greatest potential lies in embracing her responsible nature and learning to build something lasting; always putting collaboration before competition. Denis is currently working at Salud+Bienestar (Health and Wellbeing) as a CHW (Promotora de Salud) Organizer and program director, for the Spanish-speaking communities. She also has a great passion for community resource education and she is very optimistic about having a national immigration reform policy to pass for the greater good. Denise is inspired by: faith love and joy.

Nominee for Symposium Committee CHW Co-Chair

Diana Lady is the Lead Health Promoter for the Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP). Diana was born and raised in Bogota’, Colombia and began working with individuals who had learning disabilities, mainly children and the elderly. It was this work that ignited her passion to help others and to work in her community.

After moving to the United States, she chose to pursue a career in medical interpreting where she learned about the role of a Community Health Worker (CHW is also known as Health Promoter). As one of seven Health Promoters at KSFHP, they connect Kansas farm workers and their families to preventative, primary, prenatal, and mental medical services.

Diana loves her work as a Health Promoter because it allows for her to be the link between the clients and providers and she finds great reward in knowing that it will lead them to better health and better lives. Above all, Diana loves that she is able to empower her clients to take charge of their own lives by teaching her clients how to be an advocate for themselves. She takes tremendous joy in having them know they are valued, strong, and important. Years from how she hopes to see the CHW profession have an established scope of practice with a specific educational curriculum and set of professional protocols in place.