Hispanic Health Coalition
Norma Olvera, Full Professor, Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences Department, University of Houston. Dr. Olvera is the 2017 USDA E. Kika de la Garza Fellow, 2012 Obesity Society Fellow, and the Latino Health Disparities Lab Director. She received her doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology, with focus on maternal and child health from the University of Houston. Dr. Olvera’s research has focused on the development of family-based obesity interventions designed to promote healthy eating, exercise, and positive body image in Hispanic and African American youth. Dr. Olvera has 25 years of teaching experience and has published in high-impact journals, with a substantial number of google citations. Dr. Olvera has secured over $7,000,000 in federal/state and foundation funding. Her passion is to build healthy families, healthy communities.
Louise Villejo, served as the Executive Director of the Patient/Family Education Program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for 33 years. She was responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating strategic, financial, and operational plans for hospital- and clinic-based patient education services. In addition, she initiated The Learning Centers, the demonstration kitchen, and published/produced over 200 patient education materials (print, video, online) designed for low-literate or hard-to-reach audiences. Founding member and current Hispanic Health Coalition board member, Ms. Villejo, now retired, chaired the successful virtual 2021 Latino Health Summit (LHS) and chaired 2019 LHS planning committee. She continues her passion for community service and health equity through volunteer work with several nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Yolanda Lopez is the Program Manager, Cancer Survivorship at Houston Methodist Sugarland Hospital. Her role focuses on cultivating community partnerships and outreach efforts to increase awareness and utilization of programs offered for cancer patients and caregivers. Her passion and purpose to help narrow the gap in health disparities comes from her personal experience as a 25-year cancer survivor. She has served on several non-profit boards and has extensive volunteer activity in the community. Most recently, she was invited by the American Cancer Society, Fox News and other media related resources to share her story of survivorship to communities in both English and Spanish markets about the importance or prevention, vaccination and outreach for medical treatment and resources.
Maria E. Cantú -Ondarza’ s commitment is to improve the Hispanic health. She is Director of Development & Community Giving at Legacy Community Health, Inc., where she fundraises for programs and capital campaigns and oversees Legacy’s Little Readers initiative in 46 pediatric clinics. Maria’s past work experience also included teaching at the Facultad de Trabajo Social, Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc y Famosa, Private International Bilingual Schools in Monterrey, Mexico, Christus Medical Group, and Legacy Community Health. Maria collaborates with different organizations such as the March of Dimes, Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Mayor’s Adult Literacy Initiative, Mexican Consulate-Red Global, Reach Out & Read-UT-Health Children’s Learning Institute, Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos-Woodland. She earned a Master of Education at Universidad de Monterrey and a Master of Business Administration-Healthcare concentration from the University of Phoenix.
Linda Civallero is a native Houstonian who is committed to improving health in our community. She is the Director of Community Engagement at the University of Houston College of Medicine, where she builds and maintains relationships and facilitates collaborative projects with community partners in the Third Ward and East End. Most recently, she helped manage school-based grants for mental health prevention and early intervention at The Menninger Clinic. She served 18 years at MD Anderson Cancer Center, managing and directing federally-funded cancer prevention projects. Linda’s experience includes grant development, project planning and implementation, and community engagement. Linda earned a master’s degree in public health from UT Health Houston, School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and biology from Trinity University.
Jorge Olvera, MSW, Director of Diversity Outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association, Houston, and SE Texas. Jorge works with vulnerable populations, specializing in community health and senior services. He has experience developing programs to address Social Determinants of Health in underserved communities, specifically food insecurity and access. Jorge has served in various non-profit boards and committees in the Houston area. Most recently he leads the DEI efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association to increase the reach of services to the LGBT, African American and Hispanic population. He holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston.
Juan Cavazos is a proud Houstonian who aims to give back to the people of the city he loves. He received a BA in Communications from the University of Houston and a MBA in Finance from the University of Houston – Downtown. During his undergraduate studies, Juan interned with St. Jude Children’s Hospital and assisted with fundraising in the Houston area. He previously worked as a Financial Coordinator with the University of Houston, assisting professors in management in their research budget. Currently, he works as a Credit Examiner for Zions Bancorporation reviewing new and existing loans for adherence to bank policy. Juan is passionate about contributing to positive changes in Houston’s communities.
Martha Vieco-Garcia is a Program Manager at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She currently serves as a collaborative member of the Be Well CommunitiesTM team with a focus on communications, community engagement and partner relations. She is also acting as a DEI Champion for the organization. Martha earned her BSc from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, and completed her MSc in Strategic Project Management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, after earning a scholarship from Erasmus Mundus, a program managed by the European Union. She has also received Graduate Certificates from the University of Houston in Health Communication and Leadership.
Maria Cisneros is the Community Involvement Coordinator for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Healthy Homes Production Grant at the Houston Health Department. Maria’s extensive experience includes community engagement and health program implementation. She has established a network and partnerships with organizations that share her passion for maternal/ child health and environmental health. Maria has worked in health care as a Social Worker in nursing home and federally qualified clinics. She has worked with state agencies providing services for the underserved. Maria enjoys working on community health projects and serves on various coalitions. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (formerly Pan American University) and is a Certified Community Health Worker.
Cynthia Resendiz is a native Houstonian. Her areas of focus as a digital marketer include building strategies to help achieve business goals and increase brand recognition/awareness.
Cynthia is currently the Marketing and Sales Associate at Baylor College of Medicine. Her previous experience includes Federally Qualified Health Centers which serve a large uninsured and under insured population. Her experience has given her a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life for so many children and adults, and further reinforced the need to advance health equity among communities of color. Cynthia has been awarded the Stella Trimble Community Service Award and was recognized by Council Member Castex-Tatum for participating in the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Houston Southwest Livable Centers Study. She is currently part of L.I.F.E. Houston’s marketing committee, volunteers at the Children’s Museum of Houston and is a member of the Junior League of Houston.