Latino Trailblazers and Organizations 2021

Spotlight Series

2021 Spotlight Series:

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Lung Association is proud to present a “Spotlight Series” of Latino Trailblazers and Lung Health Leaders from across the country who make considerable impacts to the Lung Association’s mission and who have contributed to the effort to eliminate lung disease in their community.

Lt. Jeanette Harrington

As the youngest child of 4, Jeannette is the daughter of a Puerto Rican Father and a Panamanian mother, both which strongly influenced her upbringing and her love for her Hispanic heritage. Jeanette’s drive to serve her community led her to a career in public service. For the past 18 ½ years she has worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic for Miami Dade Fire Rescue and now serves in the rank of lieutenant; an achievement that does not come easy for a Hispanic female. Lt. Harrington says that Hispanic Heritage Month reminds her of deep-rooted traditions, values and heritage. This includes a strong work ethic that her Puerto Rican father instilled in her, and her family values imparted by her mother. That sense of family was what drove her to become involved with the American Lung Association. "Mi familia is not only my father, mother, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins, but also everyone I have become close to throughout the years, especially at work," said Lt. Harrington. "Many of my firefighter family members have been impacted by lung disease, a hazard of our job. I became involved with ALA in 2015 after a dear childhood friend’s mother was diagnosed with emphysema, and ultimately passed away.” Since then, Lt. Harrington’s commitment and involvement with the American Lung Association has been unwavering. In fact, just this year, Jeanette was recognized as the highest fundraising firefighter in the nation (personally raising almost $10,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic; bringing her total fundraising efforts to almost $40,000).

Yeimi Gagliardi

Colombian native Yeimi (Jamie) Gagliardi works to ensure Latinos are aware of health risks associated with tobacco use and services available to help people quit for good. Yeimi is WellSpan Health’s Latino Health Educator and co-chair of the Latino Services Task Force and Tobacco Prevention Task Force of Adams County, PA. Yeimi has served as an American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking Facilitator since 2012. Over the past decade, Yeimi has witnessed firsthand the impact Freedom From Smoking group clinics make in the lives of so many underserved families. In her own words: “Over the last decade I have proudly served as an FFS Facilitator delivering classes to hundreds of community members across Adams County, Pennsylvania. American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking program has allowed our friends, families and colleagues struggling to break their lifelong addiction, to understand and access resources to help them overcome the physical, mental and behavioral challenges of their tobacco use dependency. Freedom From Smoking isn’t just about quitting, it’s about creating a “New You” and connecting participants with those services which will ultimately lay the foundation for leading healthier lifestyles. Freedom From Smoking doesn’t stop at quitting tobacco use, it serves as a community connector engaging individuals in a variety of supportive programs we offer such as 5-K, free walking events, nutrition and physical activity programs, volunteering and advocacy programs that look to improve the lifelong wellness of our residents and help them continue to be engage to continue tobacco free lifestyles. Additionally, we are able to offer this program in Spanish and create a bridge for our communities to interact and participate in multicultural prevention initiatives. Freedom From Smoking provides hope and serves as a community service connector among so many individuals who are underserved”.

Angela Webb, M.D.

Dr. Angela Webb is a pediatric pulmonologist, an asthma champion, and one of the lead providers with ALA’s NY State Asthma Team’s Project BREATHE NY. Dr. Webb has been instrumental in improving health outcomes for the 650 BREATHE patients diagnosed with asthma followed in NYU Langone’s pediatric clinic in Hempstead, NY, with a patient population that is 58% Hispanic. (Hempstead’s Emergency Department Visit and Hospitalization rates are the highest in Nassau County and among the highest statewide.) Dr. Webb also sees patients in the NYU Langone Ambulatory Care Center’s Pulmonology practice.

Dr. Webb is a committed advocate for her patients within the healthcare and insurance systems and in the community. Dr. Webb is a trusted provider in a community whose residents struggle with various social determinants of health. She is not only a pediatric Spanish speaking pulmonologist but, more importantly, provides her patients and their families with culturally appropriate care that helps them to overcome barriers and encourages and empowers them to manage their child’s asthma.

Organizations:

Latino Coordinating Center

The Latino Coordinating Center for a Tobacco-Free California (LCC), a program of the California Health Collaborative in partnership with the University of Southern California, assists regional projects in adopting and implementing policies and affecting system changes that reduce tobacco-related disparities among the Latino population in California. LCC's primary services include establishing a statewide Advisory Committee of Latino leaders that guides and supports the programs goals of advancing policy and systems change efforts led by regional projects, develop policy platforms that identify policies and system change priorities with the intent to prevent and reduce tobacco’s impact in California’s Latino population, create publications and develop materials in Spanish that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, and collaborate with partners throughout the state including the American Lung Association to ensure that tobacco control efforts are being done with the Latino community in mind.

Nuestras Voces Network

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health’s Nuestras Voces (Our Voices) Network Program works to develop and implement public health strategies to effectively address the threats of commercial tobacco use and reduce the impact of tobacco related cancers on the nation’s health and wellbeing. With a particular focus on reducing disparities in underserved Hispanic communities, community-based members provide culturally congruent and linguistically appropriate evidence-based cessation strategies and services to more than 15 million Hispanics throughout the U.S. every year and national organization members provide services to more than 100 million people annually.  

Throughout 2021, Nuestras Voces has been working with the American Lung Association to increase access to tailored materials and interventions by reviewing and adapting into Spanish downloadable tobacco-free facility materials, as well as the INDEPTH program’s facilitator’s guide to further increase access to evidence-based program resources. Nuestras Voces also served as the moderator for the Lung Association’s community Town Hall: COVID-19, lo que usted quiere saber that took place in January 2021.  

Page last updated: September 13, 2022

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