Marissa Begay


Senior Research Program Coordinator

I am of the Many Goats clan, born for the Salt Water people clan. This is who I am and whom I represent. It is important for me to remember who I am so I can strive to contribute to restoring the health of our Indigenous peoples. At the Center for American Indian Health, I am fortunate to work with colleagues and relatives who all share that same energy, vision, and respect.


Marissa Begay is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and began working with Johns Hopkins in 2013 as a family health coach on a diabetes prevention home visiting program for youth called Together on Diabetes. As a family health coach, Marissa worked with youth ages 10-19 to provide home-based information on nutrition and physical activity as well as psychosocial health and life skills. From 2015 to present, Marissa has worked with the Family Spirit Program as the Administrative Manager in Chinle, AZ. She helps coordinate the national office and supports all programmatic, training and technical assistance efforts. Marissa also works closely with contracting and finance officers in disseminating the Family Spirit model. Additionally, at the Chinle office, Marissa oversees the Behavioral Health programs and studies as the Site Coordinator. Another behavioral health program that Marissa has worked on is the Asdzáán Be’eena’ (“Female Pathways”) home visiting program designed to promote protective factors and discussion associated with “coming of age” for adolescent girls and an adult female caregiver.

Marissa is passionate about educating in a way that resonates with community members and one key factor to succeeding in doing so is to meet your families and participants where they are at: emotionally, culturally and physically. As a daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, and friend, Marissa aims to practice and share the teachings she has learned from her Diné elders.


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