RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM

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Anna Marie Moya Garcia Dinallo MA, LMHC

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies Doctoral Student

Dr. Anna Dinallo is an integrative health researcher who focuses on family emotional literacy, trauma, and community education. Since 2006, she has taught health education and community engagement in a variety of settings. She formerly worked as an international health delegate for a human rights organization in El Salvador and has been a licensed mental healthcare counselor in the Albuquerque (N.M.) Public Schools and an educator with The Partnership for Community Action in New Mexico.

Today, she is studying at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) to deepen her expertise in traditional healing arts. Her research focuses on parental engagement to develop mental health curriculums in schools and the qualitative effects of acupuncture and emotional literacy as remediation tools for individuals with traumatic experiences. She is currently teaching medical providers about integrative health practices, leading constellation therapy workshops, and instructing yoga. She also teaches online seminars at the Integrative Health Institute in family psychology. She is the founder of Illuminate LLC and is working on building a nonprofit organization known as CAMPS, or Complementary and Alternative Medicine Prevention in Schools.

Research Interests 

Emotional Literacy, Family Education, and Alternative Medicine as Prevention

Anna’s research aims to understand pathways to alleviate mental health issues in school settings. Specifically, she assesses emotional literacy curriculums for parents. Anna’s research moves away from a counselor-client behavioral health lens into prevention-based curriculums that are rooted in developing parent funds of knowledge.

Through a Community Based Participatory Action (CBPR) framework, she continues to study parent-engaged education. Her dissertation is a narrative study that documents the experiences of seven Latina community educators through focus group, interview, and artifact data. Given disproportionately high rates of child mental health issues and academic gaps that affect Latino families (Child Trends report, 2013), it is key to develop parent-led emotional literacy interventions. Community centered approaches are highlighted in the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2015, H.R.1211, as a tool to promote culturally relevant health interventions. In response to H.R.1211 and Latino low utilization gaps of mental health services, the researcher and participants developed narratives based on topics within emotional literacy models (Stiener, 1997, Goleman, 2006), critical consciousness (Brown, 2007), and counseling research (Brown, 2006; McLaren, 2010). Narratives across the seven women reveled a need to focus on family emotional learning by identifying inter-partner violence.

More recently, Anna has begun to study Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the state of New Mexico. Given her background in counseling and yoga instruction and other alternative therapies, she aims to bridge alternative medicinal practices with her teaching, counseling, and research. Anna’s research contributes to studies in the field of family emotional literacy, alternative medicine, and curriculum development.

Recent Accomplishments 

Last year Anna received the William B. and Roberta V. Castetter Educational Fellowship in her college. She is currently working on a conference to training medical providers on experiential learning within Complementary and Alternative Medicine.