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Rising Stars: Meet Carly Goldblatt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Goldblatt.

Carly, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always had a passion for helping people. When my mom was diagnosed with type two diabetes in 1990 and breast cancer in 2002, my entire family was devastated. Due to these turn of events, I took an interest in public health prevention and early intervention strategies to see how I could be of assistance to preventing and mitigating these awful diseases. I became very interested in nutrition and exercise as a means to minimize the effects of diabetes. I focused my studies on math and science and attended the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a major in Psychobiology. I initially thought I wanted to go to medical school, but realized through my internship experiences with Care Extenders and Together Educating and Advocating for Community Health (TEACH) that my path was centered on public health.

After graduating from UCLA, I lived In Israel and worked at the Ministry of Health, where I worked alongside dietitians and performed extensive research to develop programs in Israel that were similar to The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Upon returning to the United States, I worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs where I advised approximately 70 Veterans as part of a weekly smoking cessation clinic. I also developed and delivered presentations to Veterans on a variety of public health topics including stress management, memory loss, and skin diseases.

I knew my passion for public health was just beginning. To further my knowledge in this arena, I received my Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from UCLA with a specialization in Community Health/Health Education. I also became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). Since graduating from my MPH program, I became a certified yoga instructor to fulfill my passion of connecting the mind and body, and I have worked with the federal and state-funded head start and early head start programs to conduct health compliance and oversight. I am currently utilizing my devotion to public health prevention and early intervention through managing a $4 million youth mental health grant at Dignity Health to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health, increase resiliency, identify signs and symptoms of mental distress, and address the impacts of trauma.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
While I have been very fortunate in my studies and career path, there have definitely been some obstacles along the way. My transition from leaving graduate school to finding a full-time job was not as smooth as I would have liked. Unfortunately, my plethora of internships did not lead directly to a full-time job. Instead, I began working multiple part-time jobs (yoga instructor, Health Specialist at a child and family services agency covering for someone on maternity leave, Health Program Developer where I developed and implemented a healthy lifestyle curriculum for youth). While these part-time jobs provided me with experience and knowledge in the public health arena, I was determined to find a full-time position doing work I was passionate about.

My first full-time position after graduate school was very unsafe. I was working in some of the most crime-ridden areas in Los Angeles. For example, there were multiple drive-by shootings. Additionally, during one period of time, there was an individual on a bicycle slashing faces with a razor blade. This experience made me realize the extreme trauma that individuals in these communities face as youth and later on in their adult lives. While I do not work in that community anymore, I want to do everything I can do to ensure that these community members and others like them are able to live emotionally and physically healthy lives.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I manage the day-to-day operations of a $4 million youth mental health project across six Southern California Dignity Health hospitals in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties to address trauma, decrease stigma surrounding mental health, and increase resiliency. The project focuses on children and youth of color living in Los Angeles County and San Bernardino neighborhoods within the service areas of the participating hospitals focusing particularly on neighborhoods with high levels of health disparities, community violence, poverty, and lived experience of racism and adverse childhood experiences.

The project awards performance-based grants to qualified local non-profit organizations (referred to as grantees) to deliver prevention and early intervention behavioral health strategies in a culturally- and linguistically- responsive manner, employing mental health awareness trainings such as Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) and Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) curricula.

I manage and coordinate two Advisory Committees that provide expertise and guidance on the project deliverables and overall success. I also collaborate with internal and external stakeholders such as hospital community health directors, communications team members, legal staff, grantee staff, school districts, and county departments of public health/behavioral health.

I have hosted and coordinated instructor trainings to train over 200 individuals (both Dignity Health staff and grantee staff) as instructors in the training modalities mentioned above. These instructors are then able to provide community trainings in MHFA, YMHFA, and QPR to their community members.

In year one of the project, we trained 3,137 professionals and community members in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties (exceeding the goal by nearly 50%). We are currently in the middle of the second year of the project, where we have trained 1,902 individuals in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties thus far (76.08% of goal).

I specialize in project management, public health, mental health, and health education. I am proud of the amazing success we have achieved in year one of the project and in year two of the project so far. But most importantly, I am proud of the impact we have made in the lives of our community members through this important work. We are saving lives by providing relevant, timely, and critical information on how to approach someone experiencing a mental health challenge and how to refer them to the help they need and deserve. The commitment and devotion of my team members to lessen the stigma of mental health through this work has made a tremendous difference in the way community members walk through life. I am honored to work with such caring, passionate, and intelligent individuals who want to make the world a better place.

What sets me apart from others is that I value excellent communication, transparency, organization, and intelligence. I am also an extremely caring individual who wants to help as many people as I possibly can. One of my main strengths is empathy, which often creates an open door policy for my grantees and team members to feel comfortable approaching me for assistance, guidance, or even just to listen to what is going on in their lives.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
I am not a huge risk taker but I do think taking risks when appropriate can benefit one’s career or desire to succeed. I admire those who take risks and get out of their comfort zone. However, I definitely think there should be some type of plan in place when opting to take a risk.

Contact Info:

  • Email: carlygoldblatt22@gmail.com
  • Instagram: carlygold22


Image Credits:

Personal Photo Only: Robin Randolph

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