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Debora Garcia, B.S.H.S.

Imperial County Public Health Department

El Centro, CA 92243

 

Biography

Debbie Garcia holds a Bachelors of Science in Human Services from the University of Phoenix in California.  Debbie started her career at the Imperial County Public Health Department in 2001 and has since then grown within the department in different public health arenas.  Initially hired as an Office Assistant with the Emergency Medical Services Office she then promoted to the Administration Division.  Ms. Garcia is currently employed as an Administrative Analyst for the Epidemiology Division where she oversees the local Border Health and HIV Surveillance Programs.  Her experience with epidemiology includes collaboration with surveillance programs such as: West Nile Virus Surveillance, Migrant Surveillance, and HIV Surveillance projects.  Debbie Garcia also collaborates with other programs and agencies.  Ms. Garcia acts as the administrator of the local California Health Alert Network System, she is also certified in HIV counseling and testing, and is an active Duty Officer for the county after hour's emergency response line.  Ms. Garcia has recently been hired as a Research Assistant with the University of California San Diego to coordinate the implementation of a pilot study of pesticide surveillance with local farmworkers to be completed in late 2008.

Leadership Development Opportunities

I received an invitation to the Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute by the California Office of Binational Border Health to collaborate with a border team to develop a binational project on lead poisoning.  At first I was very nervous about participating, but as the sessions progressed I came to learn that this learning experience would help me tremendously both in my personal and professional life.  I was also very happy to work with our mentor, Brian Hubbard, who truly helped me through all the learning curves.  Although I had never had direct experience with environmental health, I learned that all the learning components of this Institute will help me in any professional area.  I am truly grateful that the Institute did not only focus on concepts and applications but also focused on developing leadership skills.  I am very happy to have worked with a wonderful team and I give a special thanks to all those that supported my journey including family, co-workers and the Imperial County Public Health Department.