Member Group: Community Engagement Program Management

Lisa Aponte-Soto

ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Engagement Core Co-Leader
Organization: University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Lisa Aponte-Soto serves as the chief research officer for Mile Square Health Center (MSHC), a network of 13 Federally Qualified Health Centers providing comprehensive, high quality health services through the continuum of care. In this capacity, she coordinates a portfolio of community-based research projects, oversees the MSHC patient screening and navigation programs, and conducts evidenced-based program, process, and outcomes evaluation to monitor progress, mitigate issues on an ongoing timely basis, and ensure continuous improvement. Formerly, Dr. Aponte-Soto served as National Deputy Director of New Connections, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which aims to diversify perspectives of research and evaluation practices. Additionally, she has over 20 years of experience working in academia, social services, and health care settings, conducting administrative operations, program management, grants management, policy development, research, and evaluation. She is trained in culturally responsive research and evaluation practices and has extensive experience working with and for diverse communities in conducting culturally responsive research, evaluation, and programming. Her research and evaluation expertise include addressing health inequities, college access, mentoring, and career development. Dr. Aponte-Soto holds a PhD in community health sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Elena Navas

ChicagoCHEC Role: Community Health Educator
Organization: Northeastern Illinois University

Dr. Elena Navas is originally from Colombia, South America. At the age of 18 years, she moved to Chicago to pursue her scientific career in bio-medical research at Northwestern University (NU). Subsequently, she became an Epidemiologist (MS) and a Community Public Health Scientist and Program Developer (PhD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a concentration in Health Behavior and Promotion among underserved minority populations. Her main focus of interest is bridging the health disparities and inequities gap that minority and underserved Latino communities face with respect to various health and wellness conditions.

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