Linda Paloma Soto, BS, MPH
Akimel O’otham, Tohono O’odham, Chicana, White (Gila River Indian Community)
Administrator In Training The Caring House Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation
Indigenous Data Sovereignty Graduate Scholar, Native Nations Institute
Master of Public Health student, Health Services Administration, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College Of Public Health University of Arizona
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Paloma Soto, MPH is Administrator in Training (AIT) at The Caring House in Sacaton, AZ. The Caring House is a 100-bed skilled nursing facility in the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and is part of Gila River Health Care, a federally recognized 638 non-profit entity of GRIC. During her AIT year, Paloma will accrue over 2000 hours rotating through each department of The Caring House. She will then be eligible to earn her Licensed Nursing Home Administrator credential by passing the federal exam from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and the state licensing exam from the Arizona Board of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers (NCIA Board). Through caregiving experiences for her grandparents, she developed a passion for elder care and end-of-life care. She is grateful to the members of the lab for giving her refuge from experiences of erasure in her graduate public health coursework.
For several years, Paloma worked in tribal communities as a home visitor for children with special needs, and through this work, she saw how individual health outcomes are linked to health literacy. Believing that poor health literacy among Indigenous peoples is a factor in community health, she began her graduate program at University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to become part of a health care community of practice led by Indigenous people. She is earning a Master of Public Health in the Health Services Administration track.
Paloma understands that healing is different than treatment, and as an Indigenous Data Sovereignty Graduate Scholar, she is excited to learn more about how to incorporate Indigenous values into tribally-driven public health programs. She also believes that in tribal communities, the definition of quality health care must be expanded to include Indigenous control over data collected by institutions and governments. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University in Speech and Hearing Science. Paloma is multicultural, and is Akimel O’otham, Tohono O’odham, Chicana, and white, and she is a member of the Gila River Indian Community.
Living and working on the ancestral territories of the Akimel O’otham and Pee Posh