Congratulations to the 2024 Brain Health Equity Fellows

The Brain Health Equity Fellowship, which is supported by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Center for Brain Health Equity and the CDC, will train a cohort of nurse professionals to be brain health ambassadors. The fellowship will run from February to August 2024, require a commitment of approximately 25 hours total, and will include a $2,000 stipend.

The Fellowship program is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Improve Knowledge: Provide you with tailored continuing education on Alzheimer’s and related dementias to address brain health knowledge gaps.
  • Cultivate Leadership: Provide you with the leadership skills and content needed to promote tailored brain health education among your peers and in your community.
  • Facilitate Networking: Connect you to a national network of nurses and experts working at the intersections of brain health, public health, and health equity to create opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and linking of local resources.

 Learn more at

Please join us in congratulating the NAHN members selected for the 2024 Brain Health Equity Fellowship:


Sandra Calderon, MS, RN, FNP-C

Carmichael, CA

My name is Sandra Calderon. I am a first-generation graduate, and I was born in El Salvador. I am an Army Veteran and served six years of active duty. I graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with my BSN in 2012 and worked at the VA in Reno as a med-surg RN. I received my MS as a nurse practitioner in 2016 from the University of California Davis. My background as an NP has been in the ER, Hematology[1]Oncology infusion NP and currently working with the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease  Research Center. I am a third year PhD candidate at UC Davis Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and plan to graduate in 2025. My research proposal is focused on the attitudes of Hispanic nurses in regard to becoming nursing faculty. My passion and focus for getting a PhD are to see more Hispanics in Nursing.

Irene Lares, MSN, RN

Edinburg, TX

I am currently the Senior Director of Neurosciences at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and have been a Registered Nurse for 17 years. During my career I have been a critical care nurse, stroke and chest pain coordinator, director of clinical certifications and Vice President of the Neuroscience service line. I received my Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Colorado Health Science Center. I am certified as a Stroke Certified Registered Nurse and I am passionate about providing access to quality specialty care. I have been involved in the establishment of the first Joint Commission Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center now ranked in the top 10% of the nation, cranial neurosurgery program ranked top 5% in the nation, multiple sclerosis center, and epilepsy center in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. I have participated in over 20 accreditation and regulatory surveys for disease specific programs and hospital accreditations to promote safe quality care. My current role focuses on working with the multidisciplinary team to develop and implement strategic plans and initiatives to drive growth, increase access, and offer high quality care. Throughout my career my focus has been to provide excellent compassionate patient care.

Missy Moore, BSN, RN, WCC, DWC, CHPN

Washington, DC

Ottamissiah (Missy) Moore is Registered Nurse and a resident of Washington D.C. Her wealth of experience and knowledge in nursing spans over 38 years. Missy has extensive experience in Long Term Care Support and services, Hospice, and Dementia Care. She provides consulting services for conference planning and trainings to include leadership, hospice and wound and dementia care. Ms. Moore provides support and education to patients, caregivers, faith communities and professionals on health-related issues.

Justine Obiakor, MSc, BSN-RN, BS

Fontana, CA

Justine is a nurse passionate about mental health and black and brown womens health equity. She was born and raised in San Bernardino California and is first generation American to a Mexican Mother and Nigerian Father. She is currently continuing her education at Azusa Pacific University(APU) to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Justine received a BSN from APU May 2023, as part of the 18 month accelerated phase of the combined Entry Level Masters of Nursing and Nurse Practitioner program. Additionally, she received a MSc degree in Health Policy with a concentration in management from City, University of London in 2017 and a BS degree in Public Health with a minor in International Security and Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University in 2015.

Kiba Ortiz, MSN

Princeton, TX

I’m a seasoned nursing professional who attained their MSN from Johns Hopkins in May 2022. Due to my profound commitment to excellence in healthcare, I am deeply invested in diversity and community engagement, as demonstrated by over 4,000 hours in varied volunteer roles and in research projects tackling improving care for marginalized populations in the critical care setting. My experience in the Burn ICU at Parkland Health, combined with my involvement in groundbreaking research initiatives like the NIH "All of Us" program, reflects my dedication to cultural understanding and global health perspectives. Aspiring to attain my PhD and become an educator, I offer a rich background in direct patient care and substantial research expertise. My commitment to inter-professional collaboration and advocacy in healthcare policy uniquely positions me for advanced roles in nursing and healthcare leadership.

Mavely Penzo, BSN RN

New York, NY

Mavely Penzo González, RN, BSN, is a highly experienced healthcare professional with a background in clinical research and over ten years of practical experience. She has spent two years working in acute care and currently serves as an Ambulatory Nurse at Northwell Health. Her studies at the University of Rochester inspired her to pursue a DNP in Population Health and Nursing Leadership. She is serving a second[1]term as Board Member and a Community Outreach Liaison for National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), demonstrating her strong commitment to her community. Mavely has been recognized for her contributions through the 2023 Forty Under 40 Award, which honors NAHN members who embody the organization's mission through volunteerism and community outreach. Mavely provides community health services to underrepresented and vulnerable communities. Born and raised in New York City, she is passionate about improving healthcare access in her community.

Liliana Trespalacios, RMA, BSN

Mundelein, IL

My name is Liliana Trespalacios, born and raised in Medellin, Colombia. At the age of 17, I migrated to the Unites States where my journey took a transformative turn filled with both challenges and opportunities. It was here that I began my career with American Airlines, an experience that kindled my passion for connecting with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Driven by my lifelong dream to enter the healthcare field, I pursued an associate's degree in medical assisting at Robert Morris University. This step was crucial in laying the foundation for my dream, marking the beginning of my dedicated journey into healthcare. After taking a break, I reignited my academic pursuit and recently achieved a significant milestone by earning a Bachelor's in Nursing from Herzing University. My journey, marked by both challenges and triumphs, has been enriched by my global travels with American Airlines, enhancing my understanding of diverse cultures. My dual career in aviation and healthcare showcases my versatility and dedication. Serving as President of the Abilities EBGR for American Airlines and receiving accolades such as the 2023 Student of the Year by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and Volunteer of the Year by the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Illinois Chapter (NAHN), underscore my commitment to healthcare and community service. As an active member of professional associations like the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), Sigma International, the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA), the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the Chicago Healthcare Alliance Lions Club, I stand at the threshold of a promising nursing career, driven by a passion to serve and connect with communities globally, a testament to the resilience and ambition that have characterized every step of my journey

2023 Brain Health Equity Fellows 

Congratulations to the NAHN Members selected for the 2023 Brain Health Equity Nurse Fellowship!

  • Roberto Molina Bon, Dunellen, NJ
  • Sara Yvonne Jimenez, El Paso, TX
  • Jennifer Sandoval, Chicago, IL
  • Abraham Vargas Moreno, San Bernardino, CA
  • Janelle Eradiri, Freeport, NY
  • Lorena Perez, Chula Vista, CA
Learn More



2022 NAHN Brain Health Equity Fellows

  • Mia Alcala, DNP, RN, CNS, CEN -  Oakdale, CA
  • Susana Gonzalez, MHA, MSN, RN, CNML - Chicago, IL
  • Mario Peregrino, Student - Los Angeles, CA
  • Maria Perez, PhD, RNC-OB, LHRM, CHEP, HC - Hialeah, FL
  • Dyanne Rodriguez, DNP, RN, MPH - Edmonton, Canada
  • Luz Santana, MSN, RN, CMCN, ACRN, CGMT-BC, CDMS, CCM - Brooklyn, NY

Learn More