THE AHEC SCHOLARS PROGRAM:

Meet the Community Health Workers

Valentine Mukundente, CHW 

Originally from Rwanda, Agrica, Valentine Mukundente and her parents were relocated to Salt Lake City as refugees. Before they came to America, however, Mukundente and her family were sent to a refugee camp in Zambia where she spent her high school years.  In Zambia, Mukundente worked as a translator for the United Nations Hight Commissioner for Refugees while her family waited to be relocated to America.  She had learned French and Swahili as a child in Rwanda and English while in high school.  She is the founder of Best of Africa, and a founding member of Community Faces of Utah.  She resides in Salt lLake City with her husband and two children.  Valentine holds an MPA degree.

Ed Napia, MEd 

Eruera “Ed” Napia is a New Zealand and Maori-born artist who lives in Salt Lake City.  Since 2004, he has developed programs at the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake.  Ed has designed and taught university courses, performed song and dance around the world, won several awards for his sulpture, and presented at conferences across the United States.  Ed joined the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) Community Advisory Board as a founding member in 2018. Ed holds a MEd and currently works at Sacred Circle Healthcare in Salt Lake City.

Oreta Tupola, CHW 

Current EdD Organizational Leadership Student, Argosy University

Master Social Work, University of Hawaii Manoa

Bachelors Social Work, Brigham Young University of Hawaii

Oreta M. Tupola was born and raised in Laie, Hawaii and moved to Orem, Utah in 2015. Oreta has 25 years of experience in community outreach, advocacy and health working with underserved communities. Her love for community work started at a young age growing up in a small rural town in Laie, Hawaii.

Oreta obtained a bachelor’s in social work at Brigham Young University Hawaii with her desire to assist community members in navigating and accessing needed resources. Life has brought gratitude and blessings from serving community members, especially working within her own Pacific Island community. Oreta started as a volunteer working with the underserved communities in Hawaii and continues to serve in Utah to address to social needs, improve health equity and access and to facilitate change through “talk story” around cultural norms and behaviors attached to negative stigma that has contributed to many of the concerns the PI community is dealing with today. With the focus of building capacity and communities she believes that it is her responsibility to give back to her Pacific Island Village. She understands the value of reciprocity, respect and trust for her people and honors that in her work as she serves the individuals and families she works with.

Besides community work her passion is Polynesian Dancing, watching her boys play Football and playing with her grandsons Dallas and Tauhi. Words to live by “When you Learn, Teach. When you Get, Give.”

Jeanette Villalta, CHW 

Jeannette was born in Guatemala and has lived in Salt Lake City for 22 years now. She works as a Community Wellness Coach for the Hispanic Healthcare Task Force, as a Community Health Worker and Outreach Specialist for Alliance Community Services and as a Community Liaison for Multicultural Counseling Center.

She studied Business Administration in Guatemala City. She is Certified Case Management and Health Coach from the University of Utah, Certified Peer Support Specialist by Utah State University, Certified Victim Assistance.

Advocate by the Office of Victims of Crime. Certified as a Sexual Assault Advocate by Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Graduated from Humanities course Westminster College, Humanities in Focus Filming and Westside Leadership. She is an active member of the Community working as a Promotora (Community Health Worker) for over 18 years and constantly learning new things in order to teach and train people around her. For her effort in 2016 she was honored with the Trailblazer Award by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Utah. In 2013 she participated as a panelist in a TV show, 2014–2015 hosted a radio show “Voces de la Comunidad” and “Somos Utah” in 2016, both programs were dedicated to inform the Latin Community members about non-profit organizations, health and social resources available and community events. She is married to Oscar Villalta and has two sons Christopher and Derek. Her hobbies are reading philosophy and watching science documentaries.

Her volunteer work in non-profit organizations includes, among others:

  • Community Health Workers certification with the Utah Health Department since 2012
  • UPHA/CHW Section Chair 2015/2017
  • PCORI Diabetes Co-leader Research Study University of Utah
  • Safe Kids from Utah County Health Department Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST)
  • HIV Prevention and Counseling program with the Utah Health Department
  • NAMI Utah “National Alliance for Mental Illness” as a board member and F2F State Trainer.

She believes that we all have rights and we all deserve respect and opportunities regardless of our creed, sexual orientation, age, language or cultural values. Our community needs representation, guidance and support to be able to assist its residence to recognize that they are an essential part of this great society, which in many cases is completely different from their places of origin.

Cathy Wolfsfeld, CHW 

Ms. Cathy Wolfsfeld serves as the CHW for the African American community at the Calvary Babtist Church in downtown Salt Lake City.  She mainly works with diabetes. prevention where she is certified as a “Life Coach”.  Cathy also works with women’s heart health with a focus on high blood pressure control.  In her community, comorbidities such as diabetes and high blood pressure are a common thread in the lives of many.  Being a CHW gives her community a familiar and trusted face and voice that will bridge the gap between physicians and their patients, so there will be mutual understanding and respect.  Cathy is currently serving her community by facilitating COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Calvary Babtist.  She and her colleagues are also working on a series of health fair initiatives for the well-being of our community, physically, mentally, and spiritually.