National WIC Association

Meet 2023 Health Equity Champion: Alejandra!

June 27, 2023



Being selected as a Health Equity Champion for the NWA AHEAD Cohort 2 is both a privilege and an honor for Alejandra Arellano. Her journey in the WIC program began with a deep desire to contribute to the well-being of families and improve their overall health. For the past 25 years, she has dedicated herself to the Lundquist WIC Program in South Los Angeles, where her daily interactions with families have provided valuable insights into the challenges they face in raising healthy children.

Starting as a Nutrition Assistant II, Alejandra's hands-on experience allowed her to develop a keen awareness of the variety of obstacles families encounter. As she progressed to the role of Site Supervisor and eventually joined the Nutrition Education and Breastfeeding Unit, she actively engaged in the development and implementation of staff training programs. Through these training  initiatives, she aimed to raise awareness of critical issues affecting WIC families, emphasizing the impact of health disparities and the significance of social determinants of health. Topics such as maternal depression and maternal mortality became focal points, equipping staff with the knowledge and sensitivity to provide optimal support to WIC participants.

Currently serving as the Advocacy and Health Equity Manager, Alejandra has taken a pivotal role in advancing equity within the WIC program. Her primary focus lies in developing comprehensive strategies that address equity in all facets of their work, including policies that impact both the workforce and service delivery. Recognizing the importance of fostering a shared understanding, she is leading efforts to educate staff on the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Collaborating with the agency's Advancing Equity Advisory Committee, Alejandra is designing and implementing discussions and training sessions aimed at deepening the organization's comprehension of equity-related concepts, such as implicit bias and cultural humility.

Alejandra's commitment to advancing health equity is not limited to her role within the WIC program. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to collaborate with the NWA AHEAD project, where she will undoubtedly contribute her wealth of knowledge and experience to further the mission of health equity. Through this collaboration, Alejandra aims to forge a path towards transformative change, ensuring that equity becomes an integral part of every aspect of the WIC program.

As Alejandra embarks on this new chapter as a Health Equity Champion, her dedication and passion for creating a more equitable future in healthcare shine brightly. Through her tireless efforts and compassionate leadership, she is driving positive change within the WIC program and inspiring her colleagues to embrace the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Alejandra's unwavering commitment to health equity paves the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for all.