CINDY COTA, MSW, LICSW, is Vice President of Community Health for Volunteers of America, Inc. Cindy leads new projects and partnership growth focused on whole person health and social drivers of health, including the Determined Health Community Health Worker (CHW) model across Volunteers of America.
Cindy is also the program director for Volunteers of America’s participation in the newly-formed Public Health AmeriCorps program. Public Health AmeriCorps, a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and AmeriCorps, places AmeriCorps members as Community Health Workers. As a two-time AmeriCorps alumnus, Cindy is excited to lead this program.
She sees Community Health Workers as essential to helping individuals and communities achieve optimal health and CHWs as a large part of the solution to working toward health equity. For Cindy, leading community health initiatives at Volunteers of America is a perfect blend of her past experiences and expertise.
Through many years of home visiting and community based work Cindy saw how community health interventions positively impact health. “I always think of visiting families over the years — when I was welcomed into their homes it was always an honor. When you think about home visiting it is a special relationship that forms — that person is allowing you to enter their sacred space.” That trusted relationship that is formed, person to person, can have a profound impact on someone’s health.
Cindy is especially interested in creating large scale solutions to public health issues. “The future of public health is in the intersection of intentional collaboration and partnership between public and private entities to support the health of communities. This work is not something we can do alone and we look for community solutions and partnerships with healthcare and local and state government. Most importantly, we are looking to community members to co-create a future where we achieve healthy communities for all.”
Prior to Volunteers of America, Cindy held roles in Population Health at a managed care organization and she served in leadership roles at a children’s behavioral health agency. Cindy holds a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University and she is a licensed independent clinical social worker in the District of Columbia. Ms. Cota started her career providing community based services in California, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC.