Indiana Department of Health,
Office of Minority Health

History: In 1991, the Indiana State health commissioner created and staffed the Indiana Department of Health – Office of Minority Health (IDOH – OMH). This office focuses its efforts on improving disparities in preventable health conditions among minorities throughout the state. The OMH serves the Hispanic/Latino, Black, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and Native American Indian populations (approximately 14% of the state’s population). Currently, OMH is involved in several federally and state-funded health promotion and disease activities.

Purpose/Mission Statement: To improve the health of all racial and ethnic populations in Indiana through increased awareness,
partnerships, and the development and promotion of effective health policies and programs that help to reduce minority health disparities.

Shamika Crowder

Shamika Crowder is currently the Community Health Worker Engagement Coordinator with the Office of Minority Health. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Ball State University in 2012. She knew she wanted to be in leadership and decided to pursue a Master of Science from DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management in Healthcare Management in 2017. In 2022, she became a certified Community Health Worker, and this training further increased her knowledge of the importance of CHWs in health equity. One of her first public health roles was as a Community Health Worker at Eskenazi Health where she worked with high-risk pregnant women conducting home visits, care coordination, and access to resources. This role sparked her love for Community Health Workers and the value they bring to health. In this role, she did not know that one day she would lead a CHW Model and that CHWs could provide the chance to greatly impact the community for years to come. Shamika’s roles have focused on addressing health equity through outreach, education, advocacy, research, and coordination which directly helps her successfully led the Indiana Health Equity Council Community Health Worker Model. She is passionate about working in the community and meeting people where they are to support communities to be the healthiest.

Antoniette M. Holt, MPH

Antoniette M. Holt is currently the Director for the Office of Minority Health for the Indiana State Department of Health. Over a 22-year career, her work involves specialized knowledge of state government, public health, cultural competence, diversity, health equity, and minority health concerns and issues. Previously she served as the deputy director and epidemiologist for the Office of Minority Health and the Office of Cultural Diversity and Enrichment. She has conducted research and led community outreach projects related to cultural competency and health disparities. Ms. Holt has been responsible for the execution and investigation of a variety of reports and studies focused on minority health concerns.

Antoniette is considered an expert in her field and is often consulted and invited to provide valuable input on urgent matters that involve underserved communities within Indiana and the nation. She has been a guest orator at various local and national functions, conferences, and
seminars in relation to minority health, health equity, and cultural diversity training. Not only has Ms. Holt committed her career to public health, but also, embraced the field through her education having a Bachelor of Science in Public Health, and Master in Public Health, both from Indiana University (Bloomington). She is in current pursuit of her doctorate degree.

Indiana Community Health Workers Association

INCHWA’s primary contribution is in their work as:

  • Educators of CHWs alongside the healthcare team and stakeholders through on-demand specialty training.
  • Providers of leadership coaching for the CHW professionals.
  • Project consultants as it deploys into each district to develop sustainability.
  • Advocates for a better work environment in all aspects for Community Health Workers ranging from CMS policy regarding reimbursement to how a CHW is funded for employment in clinical and community-based organizations.
  • Promote CHW’s role in the healthcare and community-based teams and their professional advancement.

The benefit to the grantee:  INCHWA may act as a referral source for obtaining certification for CHWs. If you would like to partner with INCHWA, they can assist you with job postings to hire CHWs, receive consultations on how to add a CHWs into your organization, how to maximize the scope of work of existing CHWs in your team and how to become a training vendor.

The benefit to the community: INCHWA’s advocacy work for the use of community health workers across the state improves the overall health and well-being of community members while also reducing the financial burden of costly hospital visits for patients, improving care, and advancing quality.

Margarita Hart

Margarita Hart serves as the executive director of INCHWA. Serving as a CHW for over 20 years, Margarita is a passionate advocate for the CHW workforce. She is actively involved in conversations crafting local, state, and national public health strategies. She provides counsel to community leaders concerning the building of coalition and culturally relevant policy development. She is multilingual and a certified medical interpreter who facilitates culturally appropriate policy improvement and understanding in immigrant people groups. She is also a Board Certified Chaplain specializing in end-of-life care, a consultant for project development and a professional development mentor helping develop immigrant leaders, a motivational speaker and author, and a Hebrew scholar teaching Christ-centered Bible studies.

Carey Frazier

Carey Frazier is the assistant director of INCHWA. Serving as a CHW for eight years, Carey is an advocate for the CHW workforce and the communities of Indiana. She has served as a Certified Navigator to assist and instruct enrollment in Medicaid and Marketplace since the beginning of the Healthcare Act. She currently mentors upcoming CHWs into leadership roles using policy, data, and management experience.

Purdue University Community Health Workforce Development Institute (CHWDI)

Founded in 2020, the Purdue University Community Health Workforce Development Institute (CHWDI) is dedicated to health equity with an overarching goal to support the expansion and sustainability of the Indiana community health worker (CHW) workforce to increase access to health and social services for vulnerable communities while also increasing employment opportunities for community members. In partnership with the Indiana Community Health Workers Association (INCHWA) and guided by a Steering Committee of statewide thought-leaders and key stakeholders, CHWDI is taking a multi-pronged approach toward this goal by providing several services to community-based and public health organizations. Specifically, CHWDI’s partner role on the Indiana Health Equity Council CHW Model includes:

  • Training and capacity-building
    • Provide and coordinate training and activities to address COVID-19-related health disparities, health equity research and ethics, capacity building for Health Equity Community Health Workers (HECHWs) and District Council community-based organization (CBO) CHW members, and employer CBO CHW workforce integration and evaluation capacity
    • Research and evaluation
      • Work alongside HECHWs and District Council CBO CHW members to determine research priorities and execute program evaluation activities, share findings and lessons learned, and ultimately demonstrate the impact of the Model and build an evidence base for its sustainability

Dr. Omolola (Lola) Adeoye-Olatunde

Dr. Omolola (Lola) Adeoye-Olatunde is a pharmacist by training and an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Purdue University College of Pharmacy. In addition to her leadership role in CHWDI, she serves as the Director of Community Engagement and Evaluation for the Purdue University Center for Health Equity and Innovation (CHEqI). She initially sparked an interest in health equity while working as a pharmacy technician at her Nigerian immigrant father’s innovative, independently owned community pharmacy. Lola’s research continues to advance health equity through investigating drivers of effective and equitable implementation and provision of community-based programs among populations disproportionately affected by health inequities. Lola works alongside communities and community-based organizations across the country and globally to co-create and evaluate approaches focused on addressing inequities in under-resourced communities by meeting them right where they are. These approaches are contextualized by each community’s unique needs, values and culture to improve public health and inform health policy.

Lola is honored to leverage her experience and learn from and grow with all the Indiana Health Equity Council CHW Model team and District Council members. She is thrilled to serve as the program evaluation lead on this important work.

Maeve Companik (left) and Azeez Aina (right) will work with Dr. Adeoye-Olatunde on program evaluation serving as Student Research Assistants on this important work.

Dr. Megan Conklin (left) and Dr. Kourtney Byrd (right) will work with Dr. Adeoye-Olatunde on program evaluation serving as Program Managers on this important work.

Rebecca Ziolkowski will work with Dr. Adeoye-Olatunde on program evaluation serving as a Community Health Worker (CHW) Research Assistant on this important work.

Dr. Ashley Meredith

Dr. Ashley Meredith is a Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist (Primary Care) for Eskenazi Health. She serves as the Director of Advocacy for the Purdue University Center for Health Equity and Innovation (CHEqI). Ashley’s research focuses on increasing health access through development of new healthcare services and advocating for legislation that creates improved access and sustainable services. She has partnered with multiple organizations, locally and nationally, to create and evaluate the impact and implementation of services.

Ashley is excited to help expand the reach of the Indiana Health Equity Council CHW model to create a sustainable workforce in the future.

Natalia Rodriguez, PhD, MPH

Natalia Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Public Health and Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. She leads the Health TechQuity Lab and serves as Associate Director of Population Health and Health Equity for the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. Her research applies interdisciplinary and community-based participatory approaches to understanding and addressing multilevel determinants of health in marginalized populations. She trains, employs, and partners closely with community health workers to enhance community engagement, recruitment, and data collection for health disparities research to inform context specific and culturally appropriate interventions. Dr. Rodriguez co-founded of the Community Health Workforce Development Institute (CHWDI) in 2020, and is committed to strengthening and expanding a sustainable CHW workforce in Indiana.

Dr. Jasmine D. Gonzalvo

Dr. Jasmine D. Gonzalvo, PharmD is the Chris and Theresa Dimos Director of the Center for Health Equity and Innovation and a Clinical Professor in the College of Pharmacy at Purdue University. She provides cardiovascular risk reduction medication management services for diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and tobacco use disorders at Eskenazi Health Pecar Health Center for a largely LatinX/Hispanic population in a Federally Qualified Health Center. She has served on and chaired national Boards for diabetes organizations. She is active in advocacy efforts at the State and Federal levels, most recently having served on the National Clinical Care Commission charged with making recommendations to improve diabetes across federal programs. Her research interests relate to community health workers, cardiovascular risk reduction in disinvested populations, integration of the Spanish language into practice and academic settings, and diabetes self-management education and support in the pharmacy setting. She has received a variety of awards highlighting her excellence in practice and teaching throughout her career.

Dr. Yumary Ruiz

Dr. Yumary Ruiz is an Associate Professor of Public Health. Her research focuses on health disparities and protective factors that enable vulnerable populations to overcome adversity. She uses community-based participatory research (CBPR) practices to understand how individual, social, and community risks, challenges, and resiliencies affect health and wellbeing. She is the co-Principal Investigator on the Purdue Puentes Project, a longitudinal study that aims to identify how Latinx youth in rural, farmworker and agricultural families stay healthy and well despite hardships. Her work empowers communities through Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce models that increase access to health and social services and builds the capacity of CHWs and their employers to conduct health disparities research. To this end, she co-founded and serves as a co-Principal Investigator for Purdue’s Community Health Workforce Development Institute (CHWDI). In partnership with academic, community, and health organizations, Dr. Ruiz develops, implements, and evaluates programming that enhances health and resiliency among youth and their families. Two current projects include Families Tackling Tough Times Together and the Juntos 4-H Program.