Reaching out in the Springs

Posted on December 14, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A new position to serve clients of both the La Luz Center and the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center (SVCHC), the job of Community Outreach & Navigator, has been filled by Catalina Chavez-Tapia.

Representing both agencies, which have similar and overlapping clientele, Chavez-Tapia will work with community members who can benefit from their services, and design services that meet their needs.

Born in Michoacán Mexico, Chavez-Tapia migrated to the United States in 1976. She was raised in Napa and educated in the Napa public schools. She has spent the past two decades in the research field for nonprofit organizations.

“In addition to the services offered by La Luz and the Health Center, many other organizations in the community address specific needs of our clients,” said Juan Hernandez, executive director of La Luz. “ The goal of the position is to raise awareness of these services and to act as a liaison by bringing those services to where they are needed.”

The idea is to be more streamlined and efficient in meeting needs, Hernandez said, “not to recreate what already exists.”

Cheryl Johnson, CEO of SVCHC, said she believes the collaborative outreach will break new ground. “It will improve access to all of the organizations in the current framework,” she said. “Catalina has successfully worked with different organizations in Napa County to achieve a common goal, and we are excited to have her working to replicate that success here.”

The position is funded in part by the Community Foundation of Sonoma County’s Todd Trust, which is dedicated towards improving the lives of Springs residents.

Chavez-Tapia earned her B.A degree in International Inter-Cultural Communication at California State University, Sacramento and her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Administration from University of San Francisco. She has worked in the area of migration in health for the Health Initiative of the Americas, a program of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

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