Cori Garcia Hansen, Center Director, AHECWW
A lifelong resident of Western Washington, Cori Garcia Hansen works tirelessly for her community. As Director of the Area Health Education Center for Western Washington, Cori brings her commitment to creating innovative allied health and health education programs that address disparities in health care and social determinants of health, along with a varied work experience that grounds her in her vision. Cori has worked in rural communities, immigration law, agriculture, primary care, and behavioral health, with experience with Department of Labor and Workforce Education Grants in various allied health programs. She has background teaching and developing curriculum in sustainable development, student success, professionalism, electronic medical records, medical assisting, and inter-disciplinary and integrated teams in health care. Cori has ten years of experience working in clinics and health centers.
Cori’s collaboration with diverse voices has informed her work with community organizations to provide training, fundraising, and services. Cori also worked on programs recruiting high school, first generation, under-represented, and non-traditional students for allied health programs through professional presentations and hands-on workshops. In developing programs and resources, Cori has collaborated with industry partners and stakeholders to revise and develop an accredited medical assisting certificate and degree program with stackable certificates and explore innovative health career pathways.
Cori volunteers with the Bellingham Food Bank Garden Project and Victory Garden programs and is a board member for the Montessori Peace Centers, a non-profit school and daycare in Bellingham. When she is not working hard, you can find Cori spending time with her husband, gardening, biking, hiking, surfing, snowboarding, skiing, playing soccer or volleyball, and enjoying the Pacific Northwest outdoors.
Kate Di Nitto, Associate Director, AHECWW
Kate Di Nitto’s commitment to serving individuals is evidenced by her work in student services, education, and community mental health. Kate has been serving students at Whatcom Community College as an advisor, student navigator, and curriculum developer since 2015. She constantly seeks to engage with students and collaborators using a strengths-based, listening approach.
Prior to her work at Whatcom Community College, Kate lived and worked in Missoula, Montana for 13 years. As a wraparound mental health service provider for low income families in rural Montana for seven years, Kate has seen first-hand the need for community-based health and behavioral health programs, and their potential for meaningful impact. Additionally, her education in writing and experience as a writing instructor and freelance writer bring valuable teaching and communication skills to the AHEC team. Kate has served both her Bellingham and Missoula communities through various youth volunteer projects, and has a passion for working with children.
Kate is excited to further serve the community and western Washington region through her work with AHECWW, and expand her skills in this challenging new endeavor. As a Bellingham native, she is content to be returned to the trees and the bay, though she misses Montana’s big skies. She shares her life with her husband, young sons, and giant black lab—exploring the outdoors, reading, writing, and cooking.