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The Health Center welcomes new executive director


The Board of Directors for The Health Center is pleased to announce the hiring of Norma Hernández as its new Executive Director. Hernández will join the Walla Walla non-profit on Monday, February 22.  Hernández has a strong background in organizational leadership and has spent more than twenty years in the credit union industry, most recently as the executive vice president for the Blue Mountain Credit Union. Her focus during that time was creating financial services and programs that are inclusive of all members of the community regardless of income level or banking history. 

That passion for inclusion helped Hernández stand out in The Health Center’s search for a new executive director.

“Norma’s expertise with and dedication to the underserved in our community lines up with the mission of The Health Center to ensure all students in our communities have access to the healthcare they deserve,” says Board Chair Jolene Riggs. “We could not be more thrilled to have her on board.

The Health Center clinics provide primary care, care coordination and behavioral health services to students in the Walla Walla Valley. The Health Center clinics started operations in Walla Walla Public Schools in 2009 at Lincoln High School and expanded to Blue Ridge Elementary in 2012. The Health Center expanded to Pioneer Middle School in 2016 and added a clinic at Walla Walla High School in the fall of 2017.

The Health Center moved to a telehealth model during the COVID-19 pandemic focusing primarily on mental health support and added medical appointments in January.


Hernández has a deep understanding of the needs and challenges of local communities, both urban and rural. She calls herself a proud resident of the Walla Walla Valley and that pride shows in her involvement in the community.  She serves as the Mayor of College Place and has served on boards of many local organizations including Walla Walla Community Council, Walla Walla Valley Transit, Walla Walla Latino Alliance, Hope Street Homes, and the Finance Committee of the Providence St. Mary Foundation.

 “Throughout my career I have proven that by taking bold steps and investing in people, lives can be stabilized for generations to come,” said Hernández.  “And that is what I want to bring to the students of Walla Walla with The Health Center. “

Hernández succeeds former Executive Director Lindsay Engh, who led the organization for three years.



About The Health Center: Since 2009, The Health Center has improved the academic and life success of thousands of students across campuses in the Walla Walla School District by providing on-site, no-cost, physical and mental health care services. The Health Center was the first school-based health center to open in Eastern Washington and remains the only facility that operates as a non-profit. The Health Center's innovative model combines accessible physical and mental health care as part of resilience-based, wrap-around services offered in partner schools. This strategy is producing documented improvements in the academic and life success of participating students.

Walla Walla Union Bulletin January 27, 2021

Nice article on expanded medical services via Telehealth and in person appointments.  Click on the pdf link below to view or the link to the Walla Walla Union Bulletin online news.