Alliance Healthcare Foundation Announces New Program Officer Sylvia Barron
Sylvia Barron, Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s new program officer, has more than 25 years experience in bicultural community development, bi-national work, grassroots organizing, advocacy and educational outreach for improved community health. Sylvia studied at San Diego State University and is a certified Spanish-English court interpreter/translator.
Working on Community-Based Health Initiatives with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Sylvia was instrumental in founding the first bi-national program in the nation, and co-organized the first Bi-national Conference to assist other affiliates in starting their own ventures with other countries. Through the experience gained working across borders, Sylvia developed and implemented the first promotoras program in the United States. Her pioneering work in initiating this culturally sensitive, innovative healthcare model in the U.S. helped to launch what has since become a standard practice in community health.
Raised in Imperial County as the daughter of migrant workers, Sylvia lived through many of the challenging experiences facing underserved communities in those regions. “I have a unique perspective that I bring to community work because I know what it’s like to move around and change schools constantly, being exposed to potentially harmful toxins in the fields and having to cross the border for healthcare,” Sylvia said. “Total health means everything is intertwined. You have to look at the educational, social, cultural experiences of the communities you’re serving.” Sylvia is looking forward to bringing her passion for integrated healthcare to her work at Alliance.
After decades of working in direct services, Sylvia feels lucky to have the opportunity to do grantmaking. “As program officer, I get to be the bridge,” Sylvia reflected. “I get to bring all of the knowledge I’ve accumulated about community work, how to ask questions and really listen for the answers, to support the organizations working in our region to be innovative and really improve health.”
Sylvia acknowledges that there is a great deal of work to be done in fulfilling on the mission to advance health and wellness for the underserved, but feels optimistic about the future. “As long as we can keep an open mind and be willing to try new things, evolve as needs evolve, create true partnerships in all directions, find solutions that fit our mission and the people who are receiving services, we’re going to be okay.” Alliance couldn’t be more excited to welcome Sylvia to the team!