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Online MPH alum plays important role in Filipinx mental health

UC Berkeley Public Health Alumni Association board member Francesca Lomotan, MPH, has always wanted to be a leader in both promoting health for the Filipinx community as well as encouraging public health as a career for Filipinx Americans.

Lomotan grew up in San Jose and received her interdisciplinary MPH through Berkeley Public Health’s online program in 2017, said she went into the field of public health because she “aspired to have a career in which she could utilize her creativity and critical thinking skills to serve others and improve community health.”

“Growing up as a Filipina American, I did not realize that public health was a career option,” she said. Now she wants to serve as a role model for young Filipinx Americans who may be interested in prevention-based health careers.

Today, Lomotan serves as the Tobacco Prevention Program Director for San Mateo County Health. Earlier this year, she launched Bay Area Public Health, which aims to foster connection in the region’s public health community.

As an Advisory Board Member at the Filipino Mental Health Initiative in San Mateo County, Lomotan was able to utilize her public health training to guide the planning and implementation of a community needs assessment to inform which services will be provided at a new Filipinx Cultural Arts and Wellness Center in the county. That needs assessment played a key role in securing $2.6 million in Mental Health Services Act funding for the center’s creation.