Joy Rivera, Cancer Training
What do you do as a CHW?
My CHW experience has been in both promoting and organizing cancer training in my Indigenous community both locally and nationally. I presently volunteer at health fairs and vendor for the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance and speak on panels.
What has been your favorite part of being a CHW?
I love being in the community interacting with people. When I’m in the community it is always a two-way conversation for me: the community speaks and I learn from them, and they in return learn from the preventive information I provide them as a professional informed CHW.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I used to be a mathematics teacher and I taught grades 7-12 for 20 years. It’s funny, I was never smart in math and self-taught myself using the math books from back in the day that had the answers in the very back, but I never cheated! Instead, I challenged myself and found I really enjoyed teaching math. I also taught math in the prison system.
Impactful CHW Story
One success story that happened to me this past year was when I had an information table in the tribal clinic up north and I was doing colon cancer mock stool tests. When the clinic day was over the Clinic Director commented to me that she had never seen so many patients stay to listen to what I had to offer. She said the patients usually don’t stay.