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Magdalena Serrano, LCSW announced TRI Ambassador of the Year (2021)

TRI’s Ambassadors of the Year: 2021

Since TRI’s inception, there has been a generosity that TRI has received from many individuals and organizations around the world. There is a wider net of people and organizations, beyond those who work at our organization, who have gone above and beyond to help spread the mission and healing models of TRI.

Every year, we recognize an Individual Ambassador and an Organizational Ambassador who have worked tirelessly to help strengthen communities through the use of the Trauma and Community Resiliency Models.

Please join us in honoring Magdalena Sunshine Serrano


Individual Ambassador of the Year: Magdalena Sunshine Serrano, LCSW Director of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Services, Community Health Centers of the Central Coast

Magdalena Sunshine Serrano (she/her/hers) is an Indigenous woman of Serrano, Apache, and Tarahumara descent. Magdalena is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in trauma-informed treatment with Indigenous populations. Magdalena began her TRM and CRM journey in 2014 after meeting and training with Elaine Miller-Karas. This encounter was a critical turning point in Magdalena’s career and changed the way she approached both her personal life and therapy.

Magdalena has served her local community as the Director of Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Services for the Community Health Centers of the Central Coast. This unique Federally Qualified Health Center focuses on serving the most underserved members of the community with a commitment to an integrated care model. Magdalena has continued to serve her community through professional development and knowledge acquisition to grow the program.

She has a Certificate in Public Health Training for American Indian Health Professionals from Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Magdalena is also currently a fellow of the California Health Care Foundation Health Care Leadership Program which is focused on the state-wide development of a telehealth-based behavioral health integration model.

Magdalena has trained healthcare professionals in the Community Resiliency Model (CRM)® and encouraged their continual development since 2014 when she became a CRM Teacher. She has trained members in her own program as well as members of partner organizations. Magdalena also presented CRM to California’s former Surgeon General, Nadine Burke Harris, where she advocated for the implementation of CRM trainings throughout the state.

Magdalena is currently a member of the “Strategies in Addressing ACEs, Toxic Stress, and Trauma-Informed Care in Indigenous Communities Workgroup” through ACEs Aware in partnership with the Aurrera Health Group. Through this, she hopes to amplify key community members trained in the CRM and support them in providing continuous service to their communities. As a partner in the Santa Barbara County ACEs Network of Care Leadership, Magdalena’s vision for equity and well-being for her community is a healthcare workforce that embodies the people she serves.

Magdalena was born and raised on California’s Central Coast. An area with deep agricultural history and a large, underserved population including limited English proficiency, low to no income families, active substance users, persons without homes, and native Mixteco and Indigenous communities. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Sociology and American Indian Studies from UCLA and a Master’s in Social Work from USC, Magdalena returned to the Central Coast to support her community. Magdalena has exemplified a life of service to her community and these efforts have been amplified during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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