• A Diverse Team Serving Diverse Communities

    Diverse group of HBI employees walking and smiling on a path with trees behind them.
  • Breaking Barriers and Building Trust

    A smiling woman wearing a hajib sitting with an HBI Community Health Worker
  • Providing Free Health Education and Screening

    A close-up of hands of a Community Health Worker administering a test with a patient

We provide free health education and screening services to underserved communities.

Almost 20 years’ experience in liver health serves as the foundation for our expansion beyond Hepatitis

Hepatitis B Initiative is now…

Health Betterment Initiative

Breaking barriers in accessing healthcare services due to:


We are multilingual and provide translated educational materials in multiple languages

Our mobile outreach program travels to communities where the most vulnerable reside

We gently guide clients step-by-step through health and social service IT systems

More Education. More Languages.

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis D
Fatty Liver

Case Management and Patient Navigation

  • Tailored support for well-being
  • Holistic health approach
  • Coordinated linkage to care and treatment services
  • Vaccination Referral
  • Patient-centered care with a focus on infectious and chronic diseases
  • Comprehensive assistance beyond medical care
  • Empowerment through advocacy

Serving the LGBTQIA community by providing them with free health services and education, despite language barriers and/or non legal status, where they can feel part of a supportive community and be exactly who they are. Contact Alicia@hbi-dc.org for more information.

About Us

Founded in 2006 as the Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington DC, HBI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to mobilize communities to address health disparities, including preventing infectious diseases and liver cancer that affect vulnerable populations. Through collaborative partnerships, our organization provides culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach, education, screening, testing, vaccination referrals, linkage to care, and patient navigation services for impacted communities to promote immigrant health equity.
We service:

D.C.   Maryland   Virginia

How it started. How it’s going…

Actively engaging with the community helps us creates unique bonds. Our hands-on approach establishes trust and helps attain meaningful health outcomes.

Sandra Marrero-Ashford
CEO, Executive Director

Our Vision

A world where all underserved communities are free from health disparities and are linked to sustainable care.

Our Impact Since 2006


individuals were provided in-person and online education


at-risk individuals screened for Hepatitis B


at-risk individuals were screened for Hepatitis C since 2013


at-risk individuals were screened for HIV since 2016

Our Start

“Your brother has a massive tumor in his liver caused by hepatitis B. And I’m afraid your mother has hepatitis B too.” Leslie Hsu Oh could never forget the doctor’s words. Her brother, Jon-Jon, was only 17 at that time. He died a few months after he turned 18.

A year later, Leslie’s mom, who never stopped blaming herself for passing the virus to her son, died too. It was then that Leslie learned that her family could have been saved by a simple vaccine – or a timely screening, even before any of the symptoms started to show.

As a student at Harvard, Leslie reached out to allies and HBI was officially established in 1996. It was the first organization to not only offer free screenings, but to leverage the students’ ability to facilitate partnerships between community organizations and empower them to develop their own cultural and linguistically appropriate campaign.

Meet Our CEO and Executive Director

Sandra Marrero-Ashford, the Executive Director smiling and sitting with trees behind her

Leading Health Betterment Initiative (HBI) is both an honor and a privilege. I take great pride in steering an organization dedicated to holistic health and community well-being. I am immensely proud of the impactful work accomplished by HBI, reflecting our shared commitment to making a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Sandra Marrero-Ashford, MPH, MPA, MA
CEO, Executive Director

Key Team Members

Wendy Zou
Operation Manager

Angeline Nguyen, R.N.
Program Manager
Health Research & Education

Merry Wordofa
DC Programs Manager

Heidi, Dennie, CHW
HBI Alzheimer’s Project Manager

Sadikshya Dahal, MPH
Deputy DC Program Manager

Erik A. Gomez
Community Health Worker Supervisor

Jennifer Galdamez
Community Health Worker

Victoria Awe
Community Health Worker

Hai Chi Le
Data Analyst

Alicia Rivera
Community Health Worker

Rachel He
Data and Analytics Manager
917- 543-5175

Zonia Leon
Community Health Worker

Jason Galdamez
Community Health Worker

Board of Directors

Michael P. Reyes is the current Chair of the Board of Directors. He is a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America Corporation. His astute financial strategies will further assist HBI in developing long-term wealth management solutions.

Rona Jobe, MPP serves as the Secretary of HBI’s Board of Directors. She is also the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of LVL-Up Strategies.

Lydia Tang, MD, BCh, serves as the Treasurer of HBI’s Board of Directors. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Petros Tadesse is a member of HBI’s Board of Directors. He is the Production Manager of Ethiopian Media Services.

An graphic icon of four hands meeting in the middle communicating collaboration


Our HBI-Research program is a dynamic initiative leveraging our community ties for impactful collaborations.

  • Partnering with the George Washington University on a publication about HCV-positive clients and linkage to care.
  • Spearheading two other projects with University of Maryland focused on Hepatitis Delta knowledge and education retention and relinking untreated or lost-to-care HBV and HCV clients.

Community-Driven Research with Tangible Benefits