The NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training was established in 2005 to support and create diverse community health initiatives that increase access to culturally and linguistically relevant health education, prevention, screening, and treatment. Initial funding for the Center came through an earmark supported by the Congressional Hispanic Health Task Force spearheaded by former Congresswoman and U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. Our mission is to improve, promote, and advocate for the health and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities.

While we have grown considerably since our official founding, our work continues to improve health, educational, and social equity among the Latino communities with whom we work and serve. Grants funded through myriad governmental agencies and gifts from private donors support our efforts in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, obesity prevention, youth empowerment, nutrition education, perinatal and maternal child health, and Latino educational success. Our programs capacitate communities by training undergraduate and graduate students to work closely with leading multi-disciplinary academics to positively create culturally relevant strategies that improve the health access of Latinos in the United States.

We also work actively with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – to rigorously evaluate its community health outreach programs; these include collaborative efforts with local community-based organizations and promotores de salud (community health workers). We strive to ensure that each of our programs has a sustainable and tangible outcome in the community and that our work promotes positive change in Latino health status and access.

We strive to improve the health, educational, and social equity among the Latino communities with whom we work and serve.

We improve, promote, and advocate for the health, culture, and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities.

  1. We are driven to action by our community-centered mission.
  2. We embody an attitude of community service.
  3. We operate with integrity and inclusiveness.
  4. We foster leadership and empowerment.
  5. We value our grass-roots underpinnings.
  6. We are accountable to the communities we serve.
  7. We uphold the community-driven missions of NCLR and CSULB.
  8. We acknowledge, appreciate, and celebrate the cultures, resiliency, insights, and contributions of Latino/Hispanic families and communities.

Ana Andrade, Health Net
Ron Arias, Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
Dr. Hector Balcazar, University of Texas, School of Public Health
Dr. Felipe Castro, University of Texas, El Paso
Dr. Yanira Cruz, National Hispanic Council on Aging
Jorge Daboub, Univisión
Cástulo de la Rocha, JD, AltaMed Health Services
Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, University of California Los Angeles
Sara Elena Loaiza, Latino Consultants
Dr. Elena Macías, Vice President of Government Relations, CSULB
Dr. C. Kevin Malotte, Center for Health Equity Research
Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Center on Research
Richard Zaldivar, The Wall/Las Memorias Project

  • Dr. Britt Rios-Ellis, Ph.D
  • Director & Professor
  • britt.rios-ellis@csulb.edu
  • Melawhy Garcia-Vega, MPH
  • Doctoral Fellow
  • melawhy.garcia@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Mara Bird, Ph.D
  • Director of University-Based Programs
  • mara.bird@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Gino Galvez, Ph.D
  • Director of Evaluation
  • gino.galvez@csulb.edu
  • Mayra Rascón, MPH
  • Research Fellow
  • mayra.rascon@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, Ph.D
  • Research Associate
  • drstnr@gmail.com
  • Maryan Santa Cruz
  • Administrative Assistant
  • maryan.santacruz@csulb.edu
  • Jill Montague
  • Accounting Technician
  • jill.montague@csulb.edu
  • Miguel Angel Ortiz-Valenzuela
  • Assistant Director / STEM Data Manager
  • MiguelAngel.OrtizValenzuela@csulb.edu
  • Natalia Gatdula, MPH
  • Director of Community-Based Programs
  • natalia.gatdula@csulb.edu
  • Maria Ramirez, MS
  • HSI-STEM Project Coordinator
  • Maria.Ramirez@csulb.edu
  • Jason Ayala, BS
  • HSI STEM Web & Media Coordinator
  • jason.ayala@csulb.edu
  • Helen Barriere, BA
  • Promotores Coordinator
  • helen.barriere@csulb.edu
  • Nora Ortiz-Sanchez
  • Administrative Assistant
  • nora.ortiz-sanchez@csulb.edu
  • Monica Aguilar, MPH
  • Research Assistant
  • monica.aguilar@student.csulb.edu
  • Erika Bonilla, BS
  • Assistant Program Coordinator
  • erika.bonilla@csulb.edu
  • Maria Victoria Rojas, BA
  • Graphic Designer
  • maria.rojas@csulb.edu
  • Jazmin Martinez
  • Intern
  • jazmin.martinez01@student.csulb.edu
  • Susy Flores, MFT
  • Behavioral Therapist
  • susy.flores@csulb.edu
  • Sandy Rivera
  • Intern
  • sandy.rivera@students.csulb.edu
  • Alex Garbanati, BA
  • Multimedia Strategist
  • alex.garbanati@csulb.edu
  • Maria Cristina Chaple
  • maria.chaple@csulb.edu
  • Concepcion Garcia
  • c.garcia@csulb.edu
  • Virginia Mata
  • virgim42@yahoo.com
  • Maricela Parga
  • maricela.parga@csulb.edu
  • Dr. Gail Frank, Family and Consumer Science Department
  • Dr. Javier Lopez-Zetina, Health Science Department
  • Dr. Eric Marinez, Biochemistry and Chemistry Department
  • Dr. Dustin Thoman, Psychology Department
  • Dr. Guido Urizar, Psychology Department