The Healthcare Foundation is excited to announce that Daisy Cardenas has joined our Board of Directors. Daisy will work with the other members of the Board as well as the Foundation’s executive director and staff to advance the organization’s vision of eliminating health inequities in northern Sonoma County.
Daisy brings extensive experience and community ties in northern Sonoma County. Moreover, Daisy is no stranger to the Healthcare Foundation’s extended family, having served on the organization’s 2020 Wetzel Awards nomination committee and, this year, as a community partner for the organization’s Covid-19 emergency grant review committee.
“I got to be on that committee and interview other organizations that were applying for funding,” she explains, “and work collaboratively with board and other committee members to get that funding out in a really fast and responsive manner. I was very inspired by how fast the Healthcare Foundation is to respond to the needs of the community.”
Daisy is also one of the Healthcare Foundation’s Mental Health Talent Pipeline students, currently completing her practicum year for her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at USF Santa Rosa.
“Working on the frontlines, I’m seeing the need and the impact of a lot of disparities in the community and also the facts of the pandemic, both at SRJC, on the education side, and at Side By Side where I’m seeing it from the mental health side.”
Meanwhile, Daisy works as a therapist serving youth impacted by adversity at the Santa Rosa offices of Side By Side, and as Program Coordinator for the Health Occupation Preparation and Education (HOPE) Program at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). She is also a mentor with !DALE!, an organization co-founded by Montserrat Archila, working with Healdsburg High School students on the group topic of immigration justice. Daisy says she is excited to bring this multifaceted perspective to her board service.
“Working on the frontlines, I’m seeing the need and the impact of a lot of disparities in the community and also the facts of the pandemic,” she says, “both at SRJC, on the education side, and then at Side By Side where I’m seeing it from the mental health side.”
“Overall, I’m seeing the job security needs, the food security needs, everything that has transpired from this pandemic,” she adds. “For example, at SRJC, there are students living in multi-generational households because the rent is so expensive here. Online learning has been so difficult because there’s no place for them to study or to attend their online classes, or they’re having to help their siblings. I see that at the college level. Then at Side By Side, I work with youth as young as six years old, and I see that on their end, and how it’s affecting their mental health.”
Daisy notes that this is her first board service. “I’ve always been invited to be on a committee or an advisory group,” she says, “but I’ve never had the opportunity to be on a board. It makes me feel very seen and heard. Everything is a learning process for me as a first generation professional, and first generation student, so I’m really looking forward to learning from each and every member of the board.”
Balancing her studies and therapeutic work with her various community commitments takes much of her time, she admits, but she knows well about the importance of self-care.
“My self-care that I try to implement as much as I can is going back home to the East Bay, to Richmond, where I grew up, and spending time with my family,” says Daisy. “I have a five-year-old sister. Just spending time with her, whether it be going on little hikes or taking her to the pumpkin patch, she’s my reminder to slow down.”