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Meet Araceli Trejo-Rosas, MPH Health Promotion student dedicated to being an advocate for change

Araceli Trejo-Rosas MPH Health Promotion Student with the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health

Graduate Spotlight: Araceli Trejo-Rosas

Growing up as a member of a farm-working family in Hood River, Oregon, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, has driven Araceli Trejo-Rosas, M.P.H., B.S.N., to contribute to a more equitable and inclusive public health system, by improving community nutrition and food education.

“Nutrition is at the core of everything we do, and our means of living, thriving and healing,” Trejo-Rosas said. “Despite this, systematically oppressed communities continue to experience food insecurity, and, in turn, are more susceptible to illness and disease. We all deserve access to healthy, high-quality food.”

Before studying public health, Trejo-Rosas earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. While working as a nurse, she witnessed health care inequalities and barriers, which she saw particularly harmed underserved communities. She said this experience fueled her commitment to ensure equitable access to health care and resources for all.

Despite facing numerous personal and academic challenges and not always feeling welcomed in some spaces, Trejo-Rosas says she has been able to succeed with the help of a supportive community of like-minded individuals. Trejo-Rosas has drawn inspiration from her parents and sisters, who have provided unconditional support and motivated her to persevere through tough times. A community nutrition study abroad experience in Japan that was guided by Betty Izumi, Ph.D., M.P.H., RD, also provided new perspectives and solidified her commitment to making a positive impact in public health. And Megan Jacobs, M.D., M.S.C.S., who served as Trejo-Rosas’ mentor and preceptor, has been an important figure who challenged Trejo-Rosas to push herself.

Trejo-Rosas’s vision for public health is rooted in her passion for cultivating trustworthy systems of care, education and patient-provider relationships. She recognizes there are both trust and mistrust in medicine, and aims to address both through her work.

Now that she has earned a master’s degree in public health, Trejo-Rosas plans to pursue community-led public health opportunities that support culturally appropriate health and nutrition interventions. She hopes to center Oregon’s farmworkers and other frontline food industry workers while helping them and the greater community access nutritious, climate-friendly foods.