Carissa Hwu works at the Center for Community Health as a Program Specialist for the Childhood Obesity Initiative (COI). This program is a multi-sector coalition which seeks to address childhood obesity in San Diego through policy, systems, and environmental change. Carissa works directly with Kelley Axelson to plan and assist with the seven domain’s monthly meetings as well as event planning. She also helps to manage COI’s media and communications.

Carissa is currently in her third year at UC San Diego, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Ethnic Studies. Through these two programs, she is designing a curriculum that allows her to learn about the structural, historical, and social aspects of health inequities along with how to create just services and programs that center the experience and vision of marginalized communities.

Before working at the Center for Community Health, Carissa interned with Family Health Centers of San Diego as a Patient Engagement Specialistwhere she conducted outreach within low-income communities of color to make sure they were aware of FHCSD’s healthcare services along with checking eligibility for and enrolling qualifying individuals in Medi-Cal. Carissa is extremely invested in building power and justice alongside communities in order to address and eliminate health disparities.


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