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Wellness in Action is one of the most innovative community based programs in the San Francisco Bay Area focused on serving unserved and underserved new immigrant and refugee communities.


released September 2, 2017


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THE CULTURE INFLUENCER™ San Francisco, California

Cosmin Gheorghe is a Bay Area based consultant, coach, speaker and author. He has degree in Psychology and an MD in General Medicine. His work explores the ways in which Culture, Globalization & Technology influence human behavior, social and professional interactions. That includes choices, decisions, & relationships with peers, products & services. Listen-HaveFun & Achieve Your Global Potential! ... more

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Track Name: PATRICIA ROJAS-ZAMBRANO & LAURA COELHO: What Is Wellness in Action?
“Wellness in Action is a community based program developed to support natural community leaders from traditionally underserved or unserved communities by the public mental health services system. With this program we want to support these community leaders in providing mental health services for their communities in a way that is culturally sensitive, relevant, appropriate and at the same time support these leaders in gaining the skills to advance their careers so they can influence the system and become more responsive to these communities. Eventually the idea is that at some point talking about unserved or underserved communities is no longer needed.”
Track Name: PATRICIA ROJAS-ZAMBRANO & LAURA COELHO: Culturally Intelligent Workforce Development
"The Wellness in Action model proves that we can increase exponentially the chances of unserved or underserved communities to get sustainable employment in the behavioral and mental health field, where their unique skills are recognized and validated.

In fact, the participants in the Wellness in Actions Project move on to become culture brokers, mediating the relationships between their community and the American system. Being trained and having the skills to mediate this interaction is absolutely necessary if we want to optimize services, because on one hand many of these communities have had little or no exposure to the western mental health field. And on the other hand, the American mental health system is very much transaction and business oriented, and it comes sometimes in contradiction with the communities’ values, beliefs and expectations.

Needless to say, all these result not only in new jobs, but mostly in huge savings and a better distribution of funds.”
Track Name: PATRICIA ROJAS-ZAMBRANO & LAURA COELHO: Provider vs. Community Needs. Is There A Difference?
“It seems that everybody nowadays talks about diversity and the recent diversity incidents in companies like Google and Uber have stirred up intense dialogues, however what I think is more important than diversity is inclusion. Inclusion I believe is key. Because diversity is not even an option in places like the Bay Area, let’s face it, it’s a given. Whether we like or not we are diverse here. But the most important thing is what do we with this diversity?"

"How do you optimize the interaction between diverse people, because this is how I define inclusion. As the ability of a group of diverse people to interact optimally with each other, while they maintain their individual identity. It may sound like a paradox and yes, it is an ambivalence that is hard to hold, how can I be myself while I adapt to others, but this is the reality to any expat or immigrant or person who is connected globally. And this is the beauty of the Wellness in Action Program. Because it focuses precisely on that. How can a community and each individual of a community can reconcile their culture with that of their adoptive culture."
Track Name: PATRICIA ROJAS-ZAMBRANO, Wellness in Action Program Director (Personal Statement).
Patricia Rojas-Zambrano, Wellness in Action Program Director
Track Name: LAURA COELHO, Wellness in Action Program Design Consultant (Personal Statement)
Laura Coelho, Wellness in Action Program Design Consultant
Track Name: JAQ NGUEN VICTOR & TRANG TRAN: Dig & Demand is a Personal Statement. And a Wellness in Action Funded Project.
"There is something special that happens when you invite and respect dissidence. I feel that when you respect people's resistance, you respect and honor the way they have learned to cope."

"DIG AND DEMAND begins and ends and it's very much informed by gratitude. Which is a very interesting thing. Because we think gratitude is a feeling that is great. But there is another way to think about gratitude, the way it can be wielded culturally and politically to create subservience and suppression and not questioning things. It gets tricky ..."