Senior Program Specialist Lead: Illinois Programs & CHW
Wandy Hernandez-Gordon, AA, BDT(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-Gordon 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 serves on Families USA’s Health Equity Task Force for Delivery and Payment Transformation, and is co-chair of the Founding Board for the National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW), which holds space nationally to unify the CHW workforce. From 2012-2014, she was Chair of the American Public Health Association’s CHW Section, and she served for two years as President of the National Lay Health Workers/Promotores Network.
Wandy is also a co-founder and 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.”