Krista Langston is the executive director of community programs for the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Krista holds a Master of Business Administration with a focus in ethical leadership and organizational management and a bachelor’s in health care administration from Harding University. She has over a decade of experience in non-profits, grants administration, and project management. Prior to joining UAMS, Ms. Langston provided oversight for a $15 million grant to fund quality preschool programs in the state’s highest-need, most underserved counties. Krista’s passion is to build a stronger and healthier community for the children and families of Arkansas.
Hershell West is a research program director in the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Mr. West has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Arkansas and is an Assistive Technology Professional. He has over 26 years of experience directing programs and providing effective strategies to empower youth and adults with disabilities overcome barriers, disparities and inequalities within their schools, communities and workplace. In addition to helping students and families directly, Mr. West has provided technology and consultation services that alleviate barriers to accessibility to schools, businesses and communities. He has worked collaboratively with local and state agencies to empower transition age youth to sustained gainful employment using evidenced based best practices. He has also supported youth and families with success sequencing for poverty prevention.
Claudia Baldacci has an associate degree in child development and is trained in trauma informed care. She currently serves as a bilingual care coordinator with the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS. Prior to UAMS, Claudia worked as a case worker for the HIPPY program in Washington, D.C., where she instructed parents at home to empower them to actively prepare their children for success in school. Claudia has extensive experience in interpreting/translation and community outreach. Additionally, she worked with disabled adults and children in home health settings in Japan. Claudia has extensive experience in working with families, especially Latinx immigrant or international families who are becoming familiar with new systems in education, healthcare and social services. Claudia has more than 15 years assisting individuals and families obtain the resources they need. Claudia’s career goals include seeking to provide culturally appropriate health services to people in the Latino community regardless of their financial situation.
Patrick Boaz is a bilingual outreach associate for the Fatherhood FIRE (Family-focused, Interconnected, Resilient and Essential) program in the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Patrick worked at Cargill Inc. for three years as a food safety quality and regulatory tech. He is the president of AENEMMAAN INC. a nonprofit organization serving Marshallese men in northwest Arkansas. Patrick founded Chikin Melele, a bilingual online newspaper. He will continue to expand his education to help improve access and healthcare for his local community.
Christina Capelle is a care coordinator with UAMS Healthy Start. She is certified as a community health worker, and has experience serving families by connecting them to community resources, providing interpretation, and conducting outreach with Marshallese churches. Her goal is to help Marshallese families get connected to resources so they can thrive physically and mentally.
Peter Cooper, B.A., works to enhance family outcomes by helping dads achieve their greatest potential as fathers through education and service. He has a bachelor’s in psychology with 15 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and parents from marginalized backgrounds including disabilities, mental illness, low-income, and culturally diverse populations. He completed his coaching certification in 2018 with the Hudson Institute of Coaching and embeds these competences in his work daily. He facilitates trainings on 24/7 dad curriculum for coworkers and partner agencies in the community. His mission is to continue to advance the physical and mental wellness of underserved populations throughout the state of Arkansas.
Lisette Cuenca is a bilingual outreach specialist for the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. She has over 15 years of experience as an interpreter/translator and over four years of experience working in a health care setting, including labor and delivery. Ms. Cuenca is a bilingual Latinx community member with deep understanding of the Latinx community. She has extensive experience in community outreach, including working with children with disabilities, and the elderly population. Through these experiences, Ms. Cuenca has and continues to work toward her career goal to reduce the health disparities for all residents of northwest Arkansas with a heavy focus in the Latinx population in northwest Arkansas.
Claudia De Guillen
Claudia De Guillen holds a master’s degree in health sciences and a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from The Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Mexico. Mrs. Guillen is a Spanish bilingual outreach associate, currently working as a Healthy Start care coordinator of the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Mrs. Guillen has over 20 years of experience working close with the Latino community in the health care area. In her hometown, she worked as a manager of health care business which gave her experience in the field. When she moved to the United States, she worked for an Affordable Care Act contractor doing translations, processing Medicaid and Medicare applications but always focused on helping the community in obtaining health care. In addition, recently she worked as a COVID-19 bilingual navigator assisting the Latino community that was actively under isolation/quarantine; also, she was doing outreach with the Latinx business in northwest Arkansas. Because she was born and raised in Mexico, she has a great knowledge about the needs of the Latino community. Her professional goal is to create programs to bring health care closer and accessible for the community in northwest Arkansas.
Yolani Elbon is a bilingual outreach associate with our Healthy Start program. She was born and raised in the Marshall Islands before she moved to America in pursuit of a better future. Her deep-rooted understanding of the Marshallese culture makes her an asset to her community as an interpreter/translator for her limited English proficient Marshallese community members. As a care coordinator with our Healthy Start program, Ms. Elbon has assisted many of her fellow Marshallese with many things that they needed assistance with not limited to translating. She continues to expand her interpreting abilities by attending trainings to help her become a better asset to her Marshallese community. Because she understands first-hand the difficulties of navigating unfamiliar waters even as someone who could read and write fluently in English. This made her want to reach out to her community and offer ways of support and guidance in order to create a more healthier and safer environment for Marshallese people to thrive in this foreign land that has now become their home. Ms. Elbon has and continues to work towards lessening the gap of health disparities within her community one family at a time.
Amy Hoskins began working in social services in 1998. She has a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center and a Master of Science in social work with a concentration in community and administrative leadership from the University of Texas at Austin. Her background includes direct practice and program management with experience overseeing large teams and ensuring compliance with multiple contracts. Amy has experience in a variety of practice areas ranging from family services to immigrant and refugee assistance and health promotion. Throughout her career, she has worked with diverse and multilingual clients, staff, and community partners. Amy hopes to continue utilizing her skills to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of families in northwest Arkansas.
Likey Ingram, M.A.A., has associate degree in medical administrative specialist. Ingram is bilingual Marshallese. She currently served as an outreach associate in the UAMS Office of Community Health & Research. Mrs. Ingram’s goal is enhance resources for positive individual, family, and community growth; to develop special projects/services for the elderly, handicapped and children; and to provide fair housing, counseling, information and mediation for the Marshallese community. Mrs. Ingram is inspired daily by her two children, Carl and Miracle.
Mell Jacklick is a Marshallese community member and has worked as a community health worker and clinical translator in Arkansas for or over 3 years. She is fluent in Marshallese and English and has extensive experience in project facilitation. As a certified community health worker and certified interpreter/translator, she has been responsible for the recruitment, and retention of Marshallese patients, family members and health care providers. She has taught health education, family involvement, and parenting education courses.
Desiree Jenkins serves as a nurse educator at the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. She has a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Purdue University. Desiree has over 24 years of experience in healthcare with over a decade of that being in nursing. Prior to joining UAMS, she was the director of care coordination at a federally qualified health center in Hawaii. Ms. Jenkins has extensive experience working in the development of large-scale health initiatives directly related to Pacific Islanders, Hispanic/Latinos, immigrant farm workers, and Micronesian populations. These initiatives included chronic disease management, community-based programs, intensive wrap-around services for minority and underserved populations. Living in the Oceania area has given Ms. Jenkins increased knowledge of the Marshallese and Micronesian populations. It is Ms. Jenkins’ professional goal to become a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist that would enable her to better serve special patient population in and around northwest Arkansas. Through this certification and experience, Ms. Jenkins wants to create highly effective training to others that encourages, sustains, and is impactful to the patients served through the community and outreach programs.
Maryann Lometo has an Associate of Science in nursing and Completion of Certificate in Counseling from the College of the Marshall Islands. Maryann is Marshallese and has a deep understanding of the Marshallese culture and the language. She currently serves as a bilingual care coordinator at UAMS. She spent five years working at the Majuro Hospital and two years as a school nurse and a counselor for girls at a middle school in the Marshall Islands. Maryann has over a decade of experience working in the community as an interpreter and translator. She holds numerous certifications as a community healthy worker and interpreter. Her goal is to work hard to promote healthy life styles by being a role model in the community and continue helping the Marshallese population in northwest Arkansas and the Republic of the Marshall Islands for a healthier future and positive health outcomes.
Emri Luther started with UAMS as a navigator during the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. After her contract with UAMS ended, Emri had the opportunity to work with Mercy Hospital as a community health worker. She returned to UAMS as a care coordinator for UAMS Healthy Start. Emri is an enthusiastic individual who loves working with families to provide health services to help build a bridge between the community and its barriers. As a bilingual care coordinator, client advocate, and a community health worker, Emri strives to be the best in achieving every need there is to promote the wellbeing of the entire community.
Moises Manjarres is the Fatherhood FIRE (Family-focused, Interconnected, Resilient and Essential) program manager at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. He earned his master’s by completing the Adult and Lifelong Learning Program at the University of Arkansas. Additionally, Mr. Manjarres holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice. Prior to joining UAMS, he was a part of the military for 13 years where he conducted and developed training in accordance with federal regulations. During the last six years, he has worked in the non-profit sector coordinating health and nutrition projects focused on providing services to underserved communities in northwest Arkansas. Mr. Manjarres also has extensive experience working with case management, community outreach, data management. His career goal is to provide equal access to health, nutrition, and education to underserved populations.
Oscar Marquez is a bilingual outreach associate for the Fatherhood FIRE (Family-focused, Interconnected, Resilient and Essential) program with the Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His experience in working with the Hispanic community has been through his work in the emergency department by providing care and translating for Spanish-speaking patients so that they can receive the best care possible by medical personnel. Mr. Marquez had the opportunity to work directly with the Hispanic community during the COVID-19 pandemic as a UAMS COVID-19 navigator, where he helped coordinate food delivery and referred affected families to local organizations for assistance. Now his focus is in facilitating men with the right education and resources to become better fathers and husbands through the new Fatherhood FIRE program here in northwest Arkansas. He will continue to expand his education to better serve the community through this project or any other community-based programs.
Amy J. Riklon, RN, is working as a Marshallese registered nurse for the Healthy Start program for the Office of Community Health and Research at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. Ms. Riklon is a registered nurse. She has over five years of interpreting and community outreach experience. Ms. Riklon is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and plans to pursue a master’s in public health nursing so that she continues to contribute in the efforts of improving the health of her community. Ms. Riklon is bilingual in English and Marshallese. She is an advocate for research and programs that address health disparities, particularly the policies, systems, and environmental factors that affect the health and wellbeing of the Marshallese community.
Frailan Riklon is a bilingual outreach associate at UAMS. He is fluent in both English and Marshallese. Mr. Riklon has a deep understanding of the Marshallese culture and language and is actively involved in the Marshallese community in northwest Arkansas. He has experience in the recruitment, retention and facilitation of community-based outreach programs. Before coming to work for UAMS, he worked in the non-emergency medical transportation as a dispatcher, and nine years part-time over the phone Marshallese medical interpreter.
Juliann Rilang, A.A.S., is a bilingual outreach community health Worker with UAMS Family Wellness Programs. She holds an associate degree in liberal arts and sciences from Northwest Arkansas Community College. Mrs. Rilang has also earned a Medical Assistant Certificate from Petra Allied Health. Mrs. Rilang has experience in collaborating with other organizations to assist with community programs. In doing this, she has developed the knowledge in building professional relationships with different nationalities, especially her very own Marshallese community. It is Mrs. Rilang’s professional goal to be a shining light in each Marshallese/Pacific Islander’s life. She plans on producing a well-informed Marshallese community about how and where to obtain assistance in northwest Arkansas.
Marisela Sandoval was born in Los Angeles and moved to northwest Arkansas 15 years ago. She received her licensure in California for licensed vocational nurse and is a Certified Medical Assistant. Marisela is of Latin descent and is fluent in English and Spanish. She completed the community health worker program in 2017. Mrs. Sandoval has over 20 years of medical field experience assisting medical physicians in different capacities. She enjoys medical mission work and has been to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago on numerous occasions.
Alissa Scherer is a family nurse practitioner who specializes in women’s health and pregnancy care at UAMS. She completed her undergrad nursing education at College of the Ozarks and has a Master of Nursing Science from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, graduating with honors from both institutions. She has over seven years of women’s health experience with a nursing background in labor and delivery, postpartum, and newborn care. She holds a national board certification with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Alissa has a passion for women’s health and to empower women and their families by providing evidence-based care.
Carolina Vargas was born in Arizona and is of Latin descent. She has an Associate of Science from Northwest Arkansas Community College and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice with a minor in business, human development and family sciences from the University of Arkansas. Prior to joining UAMS, she gained experience assisting displaced workers, immigrants, homeless adults, and children through nonprofit agencies. As a project coordinator with UAMS, Ms. Vargas has developed and guided community programs and expertly engaged the Hispanic community in various settings, such as faith-based organizations and worksites. Her approaches in delivery of community-based programs focused on health promotion, disease prevention, exercise, and nutrition education, have bolstered participation and trust in the local Hispanic community. Ms. Vargas currently serves as a bilingual care coordinator on the Healthy Start team since 2019 serving families in four counties. Ms. Vargas is fluent in Spanish and has numerous connections in northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas. She has 20 years of experience working with Hispanic and Marshallese community members; 16 years of experience working in community-based nutrition strategies; nine years of experience working in physical activity; and 21 years of experience working in community-clinical linkages.
Meet the Community Health and Research Staff
The leadership team manages research programs and administrative duties related to community health and research programs.Learn More
The administration team oversees day-to-day operations of office procedures, finances and grant-writing.Learn More
Our faculty and research teams are leading the way toward better health in Arkansas and beyond.Learn More
The community programs team works with community partners to improve access to resources, healthy foods, health care, and safe places for physical activity for all.Learn More
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our outreach team has worked to ensure that our communities continue to have access to their best health.Learn More
Diabetes Health Team
The diabetes and cardiometabolic team engages with the community to better understand and address significant health issues that exist.Learn More
Family Wellness Team
The family wellness team provides and connects individuals and families to health services available in the community.Learn More
Healthy Food Systems Team
The Healthy Food Systems team works with schools and community to ensure that everyone has access to healthy food.Learn More