N̄an jeje ko ilo kajin Majōl, jibed ijiō
Litha Ralpho began working at the UAMS Office of Community Health and Research in September, bringing a strong, personal desire to help her community to the Healthy Start team.
As a care coordinator for the Jined ilo Kobo Healthy Start program, Litha’s role is to reach out to pregnant and new mothers. Her responsibilities include, but aren’t limited to, advising clients to follow up on their doctor’s appointments, providing educational materials for healthy living for the baby and its family, and being an advocate for resources they need to stay healthy.
Litha was 5 years old when she moved from the Marshall Islands to Orange County, Calif. She and her family moved from California to Arkansas in June to be with her parents.
For Litha, her desire to help her Marshallese neighbors comes from her father, T.R. Ria, who passed away earlier this year.
“One of his last wishes was for me to come here and help these Marshallese, especially in the health field,” she said. “My dad was a big leader in Orange County, and I guess I kind of take after him. I like helping people. I’m outgoing and strive to do my best, especially with helping others.”
Litha speaks both English and Marshallese, and knows the health struggles Marshallese communities face. She hopes to be an advocate for health prevention and healthy living to her Marshallese neighbors.
“There are a lot of people out there in the community who need help, but don’t want to seek out the assistance they need,” Litha said. “Don’t be afraid to get help if you’re sick. This is what we’re here for. We’re here to help each other.”
Litha and her husband, Rony, live in Bentonville with their two children.