2024 NAHN Hispanic Health Policy Summit

Featured Speakers


Erika Alfaro, BSN, RN, PHN
Public Health Nurse at County of San Mateo, NAHN Chapter President; Fellow for Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Enviroments

Erika Alfaro is a public health nurse with San Mateo County in California. She is an immigrant from Mexico who proudly comes from a large family of doctors, biologists, agricultural engineers, architects, house cleaners and farm workers. Since the age of 15, Erika has held leadership positions with various non-profits predominantly focused on communities and community building. She is the current president of the thriving SF/Golden Gate NAHN chapter and recipient of the 2023 Sarah Gomez Erlach Humanitarian Award. She serves as Co- Chair of the Farmworker Committee with the California Nurses for Environmental Health and Justice and was part of the 2019 fellowship cohort with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. Last but not least, she works closely with organizations like Safe Ag Safe Schools and Center for Farmworker Families to advocate and amplify farmworker communities in Santa Cruz, as well as farmworker communities all over California. 


Tolu Apaloo, MSN, RN, c-FEM
Nurse Consultant/Project Officer, Team Lead Advanced Nursing Education Branch (ANE), Division of Nursing and Public Health (DNPH), US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Tolu currently serves as the acting Team Lead for the ANE branch. Prior to her role as Team Lead, she served as Program Lead for the Advanced Nursing Education Nurse Practitioner Residency Integration Program (ANE-NPRIP) and the Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship (NAT) program.

Tolu joined the HRSA in 2020 from the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she spent 8 years working as a Labor and Delivery RN and as an Ambulatory Perinatal Nurse Educator. Her area of clinical expertise is Obstetrics and Gynecology, with a focus on staff and patient education that promote quality care outcomes within inpatient and outpatient settings. Tolu has also worked in community settings as a contractual public health nurse with a focus on maternal/child health outcomes for the Baltimore County Department of Health. Tolu continues to work as a nurse educator serving as adjunct nursing faculty specializing in Maternity Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing, and Health Assessment for local baccalaureate nursing programs in Maryland.  


Justin Bala-Hampton, DNP, MPH, MHA, RN, AGACNP-BC, AOCNP
Senior Advisor, Division of Nursing and Public Health, Office of the Director, Interim Chair & Designated Federal Official-National Advisory Council for Nurse Education and Practice, US Health Resources and Services Administration

Dr. Justin Bala-Hampton currently serves as the Senior Advisor for the Division of Nursing and Public Health within the Bureau of Health Workforce at Health Resources and Services administration. He provides leadership, subject matter expert in nursing, public health and health policy and collaboration for crosscutting departmental and agency initiatives. In addition, he is the Designated Federal Official and Interim Chair for the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, which provides nursing practice and education recommendations to Congress and the HHS Secretary.  

Prior to HRSA, Justin served as a Lead Nurse Practitioner in the Department of Infectious Diseases as The University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas. He also worked as an ICU Nurse at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, PA. Justin served in the United States Air Force and is an Afghanistan Veteran. He still practices part-time as an NP in the DC Metro Area and is Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing teaching Advance Health Policy. 


Sarah Buchanan
Senior Director of Federal Government Relations & Health Policy, National Psoriasis Foundation

Sarah Buchanan is responsible for identifying and pursuing federal issues of significance to individuals with psoriatic disease, developing policies and resources to advocate on these issues, and representing the NPF in federally focused coalitions and before federal policymakers. In addition to advocating directly to federal policymakers within Congress and the Federal Agencies, she will also advocate directly with the private insurance sector and other allied stakeholders to improve policies and advance the health and wellness of the psoriatic disease community. She is based out of the Alexandria, VA office.

Buchanan is a 12-year health policy veteran with a passion for collaborating with patients, families, and providers on public policies to improve patient access to care. Prior to joining the NPF, Buchanan established an impactful advocacy program at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, including leadership in state and federal coalitions. She has also served as an appropriations lobbyist with a focus on medical research programs at the Health and Medicine Counsel. In her free time, Buchanan enjoys outdoor sports, particularly kiteboarding and rock climbing. 


Juan Declet-Barreto
Senior Social Scientist for Climate Vulnerability, Union of Concerned Scientists

Juan Declet-Barreto is Senior Social Scientist for Climate Vulnerability for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. At UCS, he researches, maps, analyzes, communicates, and finds solutions to the inequitable human health and livelihood impacts of environmental hazards, particularly those exacerbated by climate change. An interdisciplinary environmental and social scientist, Dr. Declet-Barreto earned a Ph.D. in environmental social sciences, M.A. and B.S. degrees in geography, and an associate’s degree in geographic information systems, from Arizona State University.

Juan Declet-Barreto will present on Climate Effects on Health at #NAHNHHPS.


Alberto A. González, Jr, MPP
Senior Advisor for External Engagement, Food and Nutrition Service, United States Department of Agriculture

Alberto Gonzalez serves as Senior Advisor for External Engagement at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Alberto engages key cross-sector stakeholders on FNS's federal nutrition assistance programs and the USDA's nutrition security initiative. Alberto held roles at UnidosUS and Community Catalyst leading initiatives to increase access to affordable health coverage and healthy, nutritious food. He has a master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Political Science and American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.


Andie Lee Gonzalez, PhD, MPH, RDN, LD, FAND
US Pediatric Medical Science Liaison, Abbott Nutrition

Andie Lee Gonzalez serves as a US Pediatric Medical Science Liaison for Abbott Nutrition a division of Abbott. In this role, she provides over 80 continuing profession education presentations annually to health care professionals. She is also an adjunct professor at South Texas Community College. Dr. Gonzalez is involved in professional leadership at the local, state, and national levels. She has served on the Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics and Nutrition executive committee in various roles. In 2019 she completed the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Leadership Institute. Her research interests include pediatrics, health equity, leadership and a focus on Hispanic/Latino health. In 2023 she was lead author for a publication focused on promoting health equity for the Hispanic population through improved access to malnutrition screening and intervention. Dr. Gonzalez earned a bachelor's degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, a Master of Public Health (MPH) and clinical training at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan and completed her PhD in Organizational Leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. 


Ariel Gonzalez
Principal, Chamber Hill Strategies

Ariel Gonzalez, principal at Chamber Hill Strategies, has more than 20 years of government relations and public policy experience. Gonzalez was named by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics as a Top 100 Lobbyist in 2021 and 2022. He is well-respected among both legislators and Administration officials, bringing a deep understanding of health policy as well as practical and effective strategy to his engagements. Prior to joining Chamber Hill Strategies, Gonzalez served as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy at the March of Dimes, Chief of Government Affairs for the American Psychiatric Association (APA), head of the federal health and family team at AARP, and Director of Congressional and State Relations at the American College of Radiology.

Ariel Gonzalez will present "Legislative Process & Preparation for Hill Day Visits - Conversations Workshop" at #NAHNHHPS.


Grace Grau, DNP
Assistant Professor, UAB School of Nursing

Grace Grau, DNP is an assistant professor at UAB School of Nursing. Her areas of expertise include: Health disparities, Cardiovascular disease, and Chronic and continuing care for adults and the elderly. Grace Grau is a nurse practitioner who specializes in acute care and chronic illness in adults and the elderly, with a specific interest in cardiovascular disease. Her research focuses on general and interventional cardiology and health disparities. She is fluent in Spanish and has served as the president of the Alabama chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. 

Julio Lainez, MA
Vice President, NVG LLC

Julio Lainez, Vice President of NVG, is an experienced bridge builder and policy wonk with deep understanding of technology, appropriations, foreign, and labor policy. Julio is at ease negotiating bill revisions and devising legislative strategy and development. He also has strong relationships within the Congressional Tri-Caucus.

Prior to joining NVG, Julio was deputy director for legislative affairs for the Transport Workers Union of America (AFL-CIO), worked as Rep. Seth Moulton’s (D-MA-06) legislative director, and in various roles for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) including systems administrator and legislative aide for foreign policy. Julio also has experience in political campaigns at the presidential and state levels. His experience also includes serving as communications and operations manager for ProsperoLatino. 


Sharon Lamberton
Deputy Vice President, State Policy and External Outreach, PhRMA

In her role with PhRMA, Ms. Lamberton analyzes policy, provides strategy, and serves as a lobbyist for the industry in the states issues such as Medicaid, cost of medicines, adherence, Insulin, vaccines, clinical trials, and conducts outreach with patient and provider groups. As part of her 25 years of policy and advocacy experience, she worked with a seniors’ organization on Medicare, with a Virginia Senator on Capitol Hill, and worked as a clinical research nurse at National Institutes of Health on neurological patient protocols.

Sharon Lamberton will present "Industry’s Update on the IRA Implementation: Implications for Patients and Providers" at #NAHNHHPS.

Kali Lindsey, MBA
Senior Director, Government Relations, Pyxis Partners

Kali Lindsey is a Senior Director with Pyxis Partners in Washington, DC. He has spent more than two decades working on domestic and global health policy and program development. He previously held roles with Education, Training, and Research (ETR), the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and ViiV Healthcare where he developed engagement and giving strategies to support diverse communities, sectors, and geographies. Each strategy is developed with a clear focus on strengthening partnerships between communities, governments, and industries to improve public health and social impact coordination and collaboration. Kali graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2001 and anticipates completion of his executive master’s in business administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. 


Alister Martin
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Faculty, Center for Social Justice and Health Equity; Founder, VotER & Get Waivered

Alister Martin is a practicing ER physician and former Chief Resident at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is dually appointed as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and as Research Faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School. He leverages his background in politics, healthcare policy, and the field of behavioral economics to use the ER as a place to build programs that serve the needs of vulnerable patients that frequent it. He is the founder of Get Waivered, a program that is converting our nation’s ERs into the front door for opioid addiction treatment. He also co-founded GOTVax, an initiative aimed at leveraging a get out the vote framework to deliver vaccines to vulnerable communities via hyper-targeted vaccine clinics. In 2019, he founded Vot-ER, with a team of healthcare providers and behavioral science experts to help patients vote like their health depends on it.

Alister Martin will present the session "Addressing the Social and Political Determinants of Health in Our Communities" at #NAHNHHPS.


Bill Murat, MBA
Senior Advisor, Pyxis Partners

Bill Murat is a Senior Advisor with Pyxis Partners in Washington, DC. He served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) for 21 years in both the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Baldwin is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education. He previously was elected as a Wisconsin State Representative and as District Attorney for Portage County, Wisconsin. In his current work with Pyxis he focuses on leveraging the relationship he has built in his over 35 years of public service, including outreach and engagement with state and local officials. Murat is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D.), and the Columbia Business School (M.B.A.).


Adrianna Nava, PhD, MPA, MSN, RN
President, National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Dr. Nava is an advocate for increasing access to care for underserved populations. As a registered nurse, she witnessed firsthand how access-related disparities led to poor health outcomes, especially for racial/ethnic minority groups. In serving her patients, she saw an opportunity to contribute to decreasing Latino health disparities by building the leadership capabilities of nurses. She currently serves as the President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and is focused on building the leadership capacity of nurses, specifically Latino nurses, who continue to be underrepresented in nursing and health care leadership positions across the country. 

Dr. Nava has a MPA’20 from Harvard University; PhD’19 in Nursing and Health Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston; a MSN’11 in Health Leadership and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania; and a BSN’09 from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. She is currently a Performance Measures Research Scientist at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) in Washington, DC and a 2023-2024 Visiting Scholar at Emory Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in Atlanta, GA. Previously, she was in a nursing leadership role as the Chief of Quality at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, IL.
For her leadership within the domains of Veteran and Latino Health, Dr. Nava has been awarded: the Top 25 Emerging Leaders of 2023 by Modern Healthcare; the 2022 American Nurses Association President's Award; the 2021 Humanitarian Award from The Hispanic Star; the 2021 President’s Award from the Latina Style Magazine; the 2020 VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing from VA Boston Healthcare System; the 2020 U.S. Latino Leadership Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership; the 2017 Outstanding Alumni-Excellence in Leadership Award from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing; the 2017 NAHN’s 40 under 40 Recognition Award; the 2016-2018 PhD Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar Award; the 2014 Community Education Service Award from AARP-IL; and the 2009 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar Award. 

Dr. Nava represented NAHN at The White House for a Nurses Appreciation Week roundtable discussion in May 2022 and at the signing of the Executive Order on Strengthening Access to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in April 2022. 


Mona Rahman
Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows Program

Mona Rahman serves as the Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows Program and is a member of the Health Policy Fellowships and Leadership Programs team at the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

She comes to the NAM after a career in Public Health Education, primarily in the Tobacco Control space at Truth Initiative. Ms. Rahman also has experience as an NAM/FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellow, where she was embedded with the Office of Health Communication and Education at the Center for Tobacco Products in the 2014-2015 cohort, and brings a unique perspective to NAM’s fellowship programs. During her time at FDA, she served as a Creative and Strategic Advisor on a range of tobacco prevention campaigns. Ms. Rahman holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in Culture and Communication from New York University.

Delia Ramirez
United States Representative, Illinois’ 3rd District

The daughter of working-class Guatemalan immigrants, Congresswoman Delia Ramirez is an accomplished legislator, social service director, community leader, and coalition builder who has dedicated her life and career advocating for working families. Delia Ramirez was born in the Belmont Cragin community in Chicago. Her family moved to Humboldt Park at the age of one, when her parents found a subsidized apartment above a church that they could finally afford.

Delia’s commitment to community and working families is shaped by her lived experience. Her mother crossed the border while pregnant with Delia and worked multiple low-wage jobs to give her children a fighting chance to escape poverty. Delia’s father worked two jobs and alternated switched shifts with her Mom so that they could care for their children. Delia witnessed firsthand how important social services were, as she watched neighbors come to her church for housing assistance, food and services for the undocumented. She saw the heartbreaking financial crises that her parents and many others in her community shouldered, hoping to provide a better life for their children. 



Past President, American Academy of Nursing; Dean & Professor of MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing

Dr. Kenneth White serves as the Dean of the School of Nursing at the MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP) and as Associate Chief Nurse for Academic Affairs at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining the IHP, Dr. White served as the Associate Dean for Strategic Partnerships in the School of Nursing and Endowed Professor of Nursing at the University of Virginia (UVA). Previous to his time at UVA, Dr. White served as the Sentara Professor and directed the graduate programs in health administration at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for twenty years. 

Dr. White is a Fellow in both the American Academy of Nursing and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). From 2021 to 2023, Dr. White served as the President of the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. White has been honored with ACHE’s Gold Medal Award (2019), VCU School of Nursing’s Outstanding Alumnus Award (2021), and VCU College of Health Professions Lifetime Service and Achievement Award (2023).

In addition to his academic career, Dr. White is a dedicated nurse practitioner, holding a specialty certification in hospice and palliative care. He worked clinically at UVA Medical Center. He is also the author of the award-winning book, The Well-Managed Healthcare Organization, 9th edition (2019); as well as Take Charge of Your Healthcare Management Career:50 Lessons that Drive Success (2015), and Boost Your Nursing Leadership Career (2017). 


Kristin Williams, MPH
Senior Manager of Policy and Research, PhRMA

Kristin Williams is a Senior Manager of Policy and Research at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). In her role, she supports public policy analysis and research on issues related to health equity and prescription drug coverage. Kristin received her Master of Public Health in Health Policy from The George Washington University. She is committed to helping develop equitable solutions to address disparities in health outcomes and access to care among marginalized populations. 


Featured Panelists

Hilario Morales

Hilario Morales, a first-generation Nursing student and junior at Emory University, is currently working as a Research Assistant in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, focusing on Minority Health and Health Disparities through a work-study position. Committed to community health, he actively volunteers at community-based nonprofits like the Atlanta Community Food Bank and has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to advocacy, championing underrepresented voices in local elections since age 18. In the past, Hilario was involved with Water Drop LA and was a Peer Health Educator who participated in a task force seeking a grant from Truth Initiative for Orange Coast College's smoke-free policy in Costa Mesa, CA. Presently, he serves as the Student Representative for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education, Research, and Scholarship Subcommittee, along with being a New Policy Scholar in Nursing at Emory.

Fabiane Sención

Fabiane Sención, a newly licensed Registered Nurse with a Master of Nursing degree, is currently enhancing her expertise through the Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner program at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Her academic path is distinguished by her active participation in health education and multi-disciplinary research, guided by esteemed faculty mentors.

Dedicated to improving equitable health outcomes, Fabiane is deeply interested and involved in initiatives that leverage innovative, evidence-based practices. She is committed to driving positive cultural shifts within nursing academia and clinical settings. A passionate advocate for increasing minority representation in the nursing workforce and healthcare leadership, Fabiane is devoted to ensuring high-quality care for underserved communities and promoting excellence in healthcare operations.

Leslie Trejo

Leslie Trejo is a first-generation Mexican American and a junior at the Nell Woodruff School of Nursing. She has served the local Hispanic community through diverse efforts. As a Policy Scholar she is passionate about working towards closing health disparities among the Hispanic community.

Luis Espinosa

Luis Espinosa is a dedicated and accomplished Registered Nurse. He holds an MSN with a specialization in Population Health from Chamberlain College of Nursing and a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration from Strayer University-Georgia.

Luis began his career in healthcare as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy, where his commitment and excellence earned him the Navy Achievement Medal. Transitioning into civilian healthcare, Luis served as a Floor RN at Summit Urgent Care, as a Nurse at Core Civic in Lumpkin, GA, and Director of Nursing/Deputy Project Manager at Loyal Source in Pecos, TX. Luis currently serves as a Public Health Assistant Manager COVID RN with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Luis's comprehensive training and certifications, including BLS for Healthcare Providers, Adult Mental Health First Aid, and his expertise in Population Health and Healthcare Administration, complement his practical nursing experience. His bilingual ability in Spanish further amplifies his capability to serve a diverse range of patients. Luis Espinosa's journey reflects a profound commitment to nursing and public health, demonstrating his versatility and dedication as a healthcare professional.

Penelope Sugg

Penelope Sugg is a 4th year student at Emory University in the Traditional Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program and is a Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership Scholar. As a first-generation student nurse, she enjoys being a patient advocate for all and is committed to uplifting the voices of the Latino/Hispanic community through her current and future service.

Cassie Ramos
Student, InEmory MN Program