Associate Program Director
Wandy Hernandez, AA, CD (DONA), CLC, CCE, a nationally recognized speaker and advocate for community health workers, trains and advocates for both men and women, drawing on over 15 years of experience working in the community. Ms. Hernandez navigates with comfort between communities, agencies, and elected officials, building trust and gaining honor and respect with each audience. She frequently acts as a bridge between policy-makers, researchers, and CHWs on the ground.
She has been a bilingual and bi-cultural trainer at HealthConnect One since 1999, and is a Certified Lactation Counselor, a DONA-Certified Doula Trainer and a Certified Childbirth Educator.
Originally trained as a breastfeeding peer counselor by HC One (when it was called Chicago Health Connection), she worked first as a peer counselor at Alivio Medical Center, and was subsequently hired as a home visitor in their Parents Too Soon Program. She then participated in HC One’s doula training, and became a doula at Alivio in the Chicago Doula Project in 1997.
A national leader in the community health worker movement, Wandy served from 2012-2014 as Chair of the American Public Health Association’s CHW Section. She also served for two years as President of the National Lay Health Workers/Promotores Network, and is now co-chair of the Interim Board for the National CHW Association, which holds space nationally to unify the CHW workforce.
Wandy is the co-founder and currently an advisory member of the Chicago Community Health Workers Local Network, whose mission is to support and facilitate the progress of the CHW/Promotoras de Salud workforce in the state of Illinois. She serves on the advisory board for the Illinois AHEC Network, and brings her national and state-level expertise to her role with the South Suburban College Community Health Workers Technology Advisory Board.
When she’s not working, you might find her at a wine tasting event, socializing with family and friends, biking, or sky diving.
“In the professional world, I have two missions: (1) To be the voice and advocate for CHWs/promotoras de salud when it pertains to disparities among people of color communities, and (2) To make our world a better place for future generations to come.”