Our Team

Sandra Huber, Co-Director & Community Engagement Specialist

Sandra Huber (she/her/ella) was born and raised in Panama City, Panama and came to the U.S. to study industrial engineering.  After working as an engineer, she found her calling in social and humans services.  Sandra has been a key player in the development of a Community Health Worker or Promotores de Salud program in Snohomish County. Sandra works to deepen relationships with community-based agencies, schools, healthcare organizations, and government agencies while building trust, transparency, and meaningful engagement with our residents. Through events and conversations, she identifies emerging issues facing our diverse communities and offers classes and other opportunities to support those needs.

Award from the WA State Public Association, and the 2015 Providence Institute Agency Change Maker Award. She currently co-chairs the Community Health Board Coalition and is part of the Board of Directors for Leadership of Snohomish County and part of the board of Directors for MAS, Movimiento AfroLatino Seattle.

Email: Sandra.Huber@verdanthealth.org


Sandra Huber

Nohemi Rivera

Nohemi Rivera,
Lead Community Navigator

Nohemi Rivera (she/her/ella) is Mental Health Matter’s Lead Community Navigator. She grew up in Mexico, City, Mexico, and completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus on Human Development from the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes in 2002. In 2007, she moved to Washington and learned English as a second language. Nohemi has a passion for promoting health and community, and over the past 20 years, she has worked with public institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations as a promotora and health promoter in the U.S. and Mexico.

Nohemi’s also completed additional training and workshops relating to topics such as gender violence, human development, women’s health, parenting, trauma, and human rights. Nohemi is also a mother and partner and loves spending quality time with family, going to the movies, and traveling with her family to explore new places. She is also passionate about reading, learning, having a good talk, and volunteering within her community.

Email: Naomystar@gmail.com

Jody Early, Co-Director &
Principal Investigator

Dr. Jody Early (she/her/ella) is principal investigator and an inaugural co-director of Mental Health Matters. She is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Washington Bothell and also a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and Certified Health Coach. Jody’s background in public health promotion and education spans over 25 years, and her research examines the bio-psycho-social, cultural, and systemic factors that influence individual and population health. As a practitioner, she applies evidence-based approaches and community-based participatory methods to work in partnership with communities and groups to co-design and evaluate tailored health education and resources. Her current and past projects cover a wide range of health issues, including: mental health, sexual harassment and violence prevention, breast cancer, diabetes, HIV, digital equity, and COVID-19.

As a teacher, researcher, and practitioner, Jody’s work is rooted in critical and social theories that help to create inclusive public health strategies and policies that center human rights and equity, community strengths, and health justice. Her passion for improving mental health education stems from her own experiences as a caregiver, mother, and teacher, and the pressing need for more tailored mental health education and shared-decision making models for behavioral healthcare.

Email: JEarly3@uw.edu
Twitter: @Jody_Early

Annika Sahota

Annika Sahota,
Program Manager and Research Assistant

Annika Sahota (she/her/ella) is our MHM Program Manager and Research Assistant. She has a Master’s degree in Applied Bioengineering and a graduate certification in Global Women, Adolescent, and Child Health. Annika has years of experience working in clinical research and is co-leading evaluation studies of the MHM of WA training and program model. She completed her undergraduate studies in Microbiology, B.S. and Biochemistry, B.A alongside a certification in Computational Neuroscience as well as triple minoring in Human Rights, Chemistry, and Neural Engineering. Annika is working toward her goal of a career in global medicine, where she’d like to focus on health promotion and tailoring evidence-based community interventions, particularly within the fields of reproductive and perinatal health. 

Through this program she hopes to help facilitate an inclusive environment which provides individuals with the opportunities and resources to not only recognize, but also address mental health issues. Annika also enjoys working with and mentoring youth and is leading our Mental Health Matters Youth Advisory Group.

Email: asahota@uw.edu

Ana Thompson,
Instructional Designer and Technical Advisor

Ana Thompson (she/her/ella) was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and came to the U.S. to study Engineering and Information Systems. After a few years working in IT, she decided to move onto training, support, and design of academic experiences for students, staff, and faculty in higher education, where she has been for the past 21 years.

Ana is currently an Academic & Access Technologist at the University of Washington Bothell, where she leads accessibility efforts to provide universal and equitable access to students and the UW community. She has also been involved with the Behavioral Health Learning Community at the UW Bothell campus and researches proactive ways to make inclusive teaching and content more prevalent and how it affects mental health issues in people with disabilities.

Ana has an AS in Computer Science, a BS in Business Information Systems with Management Emphasis and a MS in Information Systems; is an Adobe PDF Accessibility Trainer and IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies. Ana enjoys sci-fi books and movies, dance, gadgets, and spending time with family.

Email: thomana@uw.edu
Twitter: @EdTechAna

Socorro Fuentes, MA, MHP, LMHC
Mental Health Therapist and Advisor

Socorro Fuentes (ella/she/her) is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Washington. She received a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2018 from the Aliento program offered at Pepperdine University. The Aliento program focuses on providing culturally appropriate mental health services to individuals who identify as Latinx.

 A second generation immigrant, she was born and raised by Mexican parents in South Central Los Angeles. Socorro is bilingual, fluent in Spanish, and strives to make therapy accessible to individuals from marginalized communities. She enjoys working with the adolescent population and considers it a privilege to be allowed into another person’s inner world. When she’s not providing psychotherapy, Socorro enjoys spending time in nature, running outdoors, dancing, reading, traveling the world, and spending time with loved ones. 

Email: socorro.fuentes@fountainsofhelpcounseling.com

Fountains of Help Counseling, PLLC

The Mental Health Matters of Washington team: (top from left to right) Sandra Huber, Jody Early, Nohemi Rivera, and Monika Star. (bottom left to right): Edith Huerta, Annika Sahota, and Ana Thompson.

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