|Position:||Chief Program Officer|
Maria Valenzuela is the Chief Program Officer with Esperança. In 1999 she founded the organization’s Arizona-based community health programs – reaching over 45,000 Hispanic and refugee families. Maria used a cultural lens to author and implement curriculums on nutrition, oral health, chronic disease prevention and management and more. In 2022 she became the organization’s Senior Program Director, overseeing strategy and implementation for Esperança’s programs in Arizona and in 6 other countries around the world. Her progressive approach to preventative health programming has been recognized across the world; Maria has presented for the United States Congress, at two World Health Organization (WHO) global forums and was chosen for the Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship in 2019.
Outside of Esperança, Maria serves on the Board of Directors for Valley Leadership, a member for the Mayo Clinic Community Advisory Board and the Health Improvement Partnership of Maricopa County. She was accepted into the 2022 cohort of Valle del Sol's Hispanic Leadership Institute.