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Thursday, April 20, 2017
Engagement strategies for person- and family-centered health care systems, health equity, organizational development
For more than 28 years, Maria Elena has helped foundations, public agencies and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and abroad attract and authentically engage new constituents, advance policy and systems change, expand programmatic and service reach, and build multicultural and cross-cultural understanding. A particular passion is designing strategies that are centered on equity and that help empower people – especially those who don’t always have power of voice – to assume an active role in identifying and guiding solutions to the issues that impact them.
Maria Elena is adept at designing creative opportunities and processes that allow for the co-creation of messages and strategies alongside community members. She is also experienced at helping diverse, multi-sector and multilingual groups to arrive at a common vision, language and agenda. For several years prior to joining Metropolitan Group, she was the executive director of a statewide, Latino multi-service organization serving children, youth and families in the areas of health, mental health, education and workforce development. Maria Elena is bilingual in English and Spanish; French; Russian.
Jennifer is passionate about health – and particularly about creating communities that make good health the norm for everyone, increase health equity and reduce disparities. Jennifer has focused on health for most of her 20-year career, first as a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and now as leader of Metropolitan Group’s public health practice. She helps her clients build capacity, motivate behavior change, affect systems change, pass policies, establish lasting partnerships, engage diverse audience groups, and build strong and successful organizations. She also works in many arenas that impact and are impacted by health, including early education and K-12 quality and equity, affordable housing, social services, and community and economic development.
Jennifer was the project lead for the Metropolitan Group’s work with the Oregon Health Authority, which centered on training and technical assistance support to 36 county health departments, tribes and community-based organizations as well as direct media advocacy work for the state. Her past projects have addressed water fluoridation, fetal alcohol syndrome, employment of people with disabilities, prenatal wellness, asthma-friendly schools, coordinated school health, health reform and more. She speaks around the country on public health and social marketing.
Working in the strategic communications and multicultural engagement practices at Metropolitan Group, Olivia brings a comprehensive and integrated approach to her projects. Highly organized with superior attention to detail, Olivia provides community engagement, media relations, project management and coordination services for various client initiatives. She regularly engages reporters and editors on behalf of clients, developing and placing stories that illuminate priority issues, urgent needs and innovative solutions.
Her interest in formative and qualitative research has led to her involvement in a variety of focus group and work session intensives at Metropolitan Group. She has provided technical assistance to community-based nonprofits, educational institutions, and grassroots groups, distilling their values, value and voice and using strategic communication to support program goals. She also assisted in the facilitation of a spokespeople training for Upstream Public Health’s campaign to fluoridate Portland’s water and provided earned media support and story placement for the same campaign. Before joining Metropolitan Group, Olivia worked at F&H Porter Novelli in Munich, Germany where she provided marketing and media relations services for LG Electronics, Hitachi and Logitech. A graduate of Willamette University, Olivia holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and media studies.
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