About Us

The Community Health Training Institute (the Training Institute) provides targeted skills development to individuals and teams working to build healthy communities in Massachusetts. We customize our in-person trainings and webinars  around core competencies that include: Coalition Building; Leadership; Policy and Systems Change; Communications; Health Equity; Youth Development; Strategic Planning and Evaluation. 

The Training Institute is a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and Health Resources in Action (HRiA), funded by MDPH.

Our overarching goal is to increase the capacity and skills of community health leaders and stakeholders to build and sustain coalitions and partnerships that support healthy communities and actively address systemic racism to improve health outcomes across the Commonwealth. 


Training Institute staff members are experts in creating, planning, and evaluating high-impact training experiences. Because we are seasoned community health professionals, we understand your unique training needs from firsthand experience. 


Daisy Ortega

Managing Director (she/her)

Daisy Ortega, M.Ed, serves as the Managing Director at the Community Health Training Institute. In this role, she ensures the development and delivery of an innovative, high-quality set of training services. She develops and monitors the work and budget; manages the team; and provides overall project direction and vision. 

about Daisy

Daisy is a Managing Director of Health Resources in Action’s Training and Capacity Building Department. In that role, Daisy works tirelessly to deliver cutting edge capacity building programs centered on youth development, program improvement and planning and community building and mobilization. She has developed and presented various trainings and regularly facilitates discussion on topics such as: the positive youth development approach, community organizing and building, public speaking, conflict resolution and violence prevention, supervising youth, program and project planning and team building among other topics. Additionally, Daisy provides technical assistance to individuals, programs, organizations and funders to integrate the youth development approach model into their practice and programs. Daisy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) from Lesley University.


Gina Rodriguez

Senior Project Manager (she/her)

Gina Rodriguez serves as the Senior Project Manager for the Community Health Training Institute. Gina identifies and manages trainers; provides guidance on training curricula; builds and manages online courses; leads participant recruitment efforts; leads all marketing and communication activities; and manages the analysis of evaluation data to support ongoing quality monitoring and improvement. 

about Gina

Gina Rodriguez is a Boston native, born and raised. Her work experience and passion includes over ten years of working with youth and adults in the City of Boston. In her decade of involvement with non-profit programming, Gina has built up her skills in interactive training and facilitation. She has facilitated trainings for over 400 youth, has worked in the classrooms with Boston Public School teachers and has forged relationships between the Boston Police Department and community members in some of Boston’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods. Most recently, Gina has been working with pregnant and parenting teens at Crittenton Women’s Union, mentoring and providing one-on-one services to help them achieve their goals (a cause she holds dear to her heart since she herself was a mother at a young age and was able to receive support and guidance from her own mentors). Gina received her youth worker certification from Boston After School and Beyond, and she also recently graduated from the Paraprofessional Development Program through the Boston Public School Office of Human Capital. She has a myriad of educational knowledge and years of training experience that will strengthen and enrich The Community Health Training Institute and the Peer Leaders Promoting Safe Driving Initiative, the two projects she will be managing.


Kelly Danckert

Program Manager (she/her)

Kelly Danckert, MPH, serves as the Program Manager for the Helplines and the Training and Capacity Building Department.  In this role, Kelly takes the lead on engaging community coalitions, working with trainers to develop and edit written materials, creating content for the website and social media channels, and assisting with training development. 

about Kelly

After participating in a yearlong research symposium in South Africa studying the impacts housing and health equity have on health outcomes, Kelly Danckert developed a strong passion for community health and engagement. She spent her time in Cape Town working with non-profits to educate and empower citizens about their rights surrounding healthcare and housing policy, as well as working on treatment literacy campaigns for HIV positive populations. Prior to that, Kelly was an intern in Senator Edward J. Markey’s office, working on healthy housing initiatives and asbestos regulation. During her undergraduate career, she pursued her passion for writing with jobs at The Boston Globe and her university’s nonfiction magazine. Kelly earned her degree in English with a concentration in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and her Masters in Public Health from Boston University with a concentration in Health Communication and Promotion. 


Tonayo Crow

Administrative Coordinator (she/her)

Tonayo Crow serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Community Health Training Institute. In this role, Tonayo oversees events coordination; marketing and communications; training/webinar logistics; and provides overall administrative support to the project and team. 

about Tonayo

Ms. Crow graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Environmental Studies. She joined HRiA as an Administrative Assistant to the Training and Capacity Building Department, where she works primarily to support the Community Health Training Institute (CHTI) and the BEST Initiative. She has a strong interest in public health work and environmental issues, and is originally from the Seattle area.


Jasper Lee

Program Coordinator (they/them)

Jasper Lee is the newest member of the CHTI team! They provide logistical support for CHTI's trainings and evaluations, and manage the team's social media accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Jasper plays an integral role in supporting the work of CHTI, and contributes regularly to the blog, sharing their knowledge and experience.

about Jasper

Jasper Lee is a Program Coordinator for the Training & Capacity Building team. They are working primarily with youth development trainings and projects (BEST, LEAH, etc) in addition to CHTI. Before coming to HRiA, they were a Care Resource Coordination Supervisor for the Community Tracing Collaborative, Massachusetts’ contact tracing response to COVID-19, ensuring that vulnerable COVID-positive cases and community members had the necessary resources to isolate or quarantine safely. They also have experience in emergency preparedness, integrative medicine and spiritual health, community organizing, community safety and alternatives to policing, and volunteer as a street medic to keep justice organizers safe at events. Jasper graduated from Tufts University summa cum laude with a bachelor's of arts degree in Community Health and Religion, with a self-created concentration in Colonialism, and is currently working toward a Master’s of Public Health degree at Tufts.