Marybeth Peña is the Nurse Program Specialist for the Florida Department of Health in Marin County. She is a registered nurse and a certified diabetes educator, and was recognized at the 2017 Rural Health Symposium for the work that she does with underserved populations. Currently, she oversees “The Program for Chronic Disease,” a preventative initiative designed to fight chronic conditions such as the obesity epidemic.
“I spent a lot of time just kind of observing, and looking, and listening, and using the model of knowledge, attitude, practice, and belief. So you kind of look at what the community has, what they're willing to change, what their belief systems are, and then work with the people who are already leaders, and the organizations that already have an impact in the community.”
Marybeth’s rural health journey began when she joined the Peace Corps, and worked in a small orphanage in Nicaragua. That experience is what sparked her passion for working with underserved populations in rural areas.