Yolanda Partida, MSW, DPA

National Program Director, Hablamos Juntos
About Dr. Partida:

Dr. Partida is the director of the National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Hablamos Juntos Program, which is being hosted by TRPI. She has extensive experience in public/teaching and private hospital administration, as well as public policy and public health administration, and is the founder and Executive Director for The Partida Group, a Latina-owned, health policy, research and management consulting firm specializing in diverse populations.

Dr. Partida brings 25 years of experience in public and private health administration and private consulting to her leadership of the Hablamos Juntos Program:

As a Senior Manager for The Lewin Group, a national health research, policy and management consulting firm, Dr. Partida worked on a variety of projects related to health access for the uninsured, underserved populations and health delivery organizations.

As Deputy Director of Community Health for the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Partida was responsible for overseeing a variety of personal and public health programs, over 800 employees and a $137 million budget. San Diego County relies on a private sector delivery network for indigent health and has special challenges because of its proximity to Mexico. Dr. Partida worked with public health officials in Mexico to implement cross-border public health strategies for a bi-national community of nearly 5 million people.

As Assistant Director of Ambulatory Care for the Fresno County Health Services Agency, Dr. Partida was responsible for county-operated hospital-based clinics and decentralized community health centers that served ethnically diverse urban and rural populations. While working as Assistant Hospital Administrator for Valley Medical Center, a public hospital, Dr. Partida worked with a local community college to develop a hospital-based Interpreter Training Program. This program worked to define the role of the interpreter and improve interpreter competency. Importantly, Dr. Partida and program staff learned that the process of establishing interpreter programs within existing health care organizations can illuminate culturally insensitive organizational practices. The existence of such practices highlights the importance of training staff on how to use interpreters.

As Director of Social Services at Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno, California, Dr. Partida was involved with redefining hospital policies and practices to deal with a large influx of Southeast Asian refugees from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Her department received a distinguished service award from the Laos Family Council for the department's work with newly arrived refugees.

Some of her work experience of the recent past includes:

  • A feasibility study for a $50 million Border Health Institute in El Paso funded by the state of Texas, which included recommendations for the design, functions, structure, governance and financing of research institute focused on border health. (April 2000)
  • A business case analysis of safety net providers using care management strategies for the uninsured, and the preparation of a companion how-to guide for program development. (December 2000).
  • Development of a detailed business plan intended to position the nascent Center for Border Health Research as a premier niche research firm.

In addition to her current work with Hablamos Juntos, Dr. Partida is also working with an Institute of Medicine committee to study effective health communication and behavior change strategies for diverse populations. The overall goal of this study is to develop recommendations that will increase the efficacy of public health communication and behavior change interventions targeted toward culturally and demographically divergent populations.

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