Bryna Antonia Cortes (she/they) is a National Urban Fellow at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and a Master of Policy Management candidate (2023) at the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University. During their time with CHCS, Bryna is supporting CHCS initiatives focused on building Medicaid leadership and capacity, including Equity Changemakers and the Medicaid Leadership Institute.
Prior to joining as a fellow, Bryna worked as a civic engagement and community organizer at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO). Bryna was the primary lead for IRCO’s diversity and civic leadership program, Engage, a six-month cohort training with an intersectional and social justice lens to build up immigrant and refugee leaders. Passionate about youth empowerment and the importance of building intergenerational connections, Bryna also coordinated an Asian youth leadership council, and co-created a Pacific Islander youth leadership council, connecting youth to civic and cultural community leaders and opportunities.
Bryna, a first-generation college student, majored in sociology and obtained a certificate in global studies at Portland State University in Oregon. Coupled with their time as a student fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Bryna’s studies helped them bridge their understandings on cycles of trauma, intersectionality, and social determinants of health. This understanding would support their involvement as a volunteer coach for youth sports and as an educator in health and wellness programming for gang intervention and prevention programs for youth of color, as well as drive their passion for racial and gender equity in sports as they served a two-year tenure on the Portland Ultimate board.
When not supporting CHCS projects, or in class, you can find Bryna on a field playing ultimate frisbee, being artsy, trying new tasty dishes, or biking around with their pup, Ani.