A blue and white graphic with a photo of Cara Riggins with the NCHPAD Connect logo and the word spotlight below it

Meet Cara Riggins, NCHPAD Expert Inclusion Specialist (EIS)

How long have you been with NCHPAD?

Four years.

Tell us about your background & education. What brought you to NCHPAD?

I have a bachelor’s degree in health education and promotion from Berea College and a Master of Public Health from Tennessee State University. Before coming to NCHPAD, I worked at Lakeshore Foundation with NCHPAD and a few other grants. I also worked as an epidemiologist at the state health department for a few years, but my background spans federal and state agencies – primarily in the health education realm.

How long have you worked with people with disabilities?

Since I started with NCHPAD.

What program or programs do you work with? How long have you worked with that program?

NCHPAD Connect. I’ve been with it since its inception. I’m an Expert Inclusion Specialist (EIS) providing participants with tailored health resources.

What talents or expertise do you bring to NCHPAD or this program?

I’m super organized and pay attention to small details. I think small details are important for helping larger programs run efficiently.

What is your favorite thing about NCHPAD or this program?

Providing people with free health resources and things they would have had to pay for elsewhere. I like that it’s free, especially given today’s economy. It’s hard to find anything this valuable for free.

What’s your favorite NCHPAD resource or video series?

I like the Five Meals, One Bag resource. I hate food waste, and I like that this series gives people ideas for five meals in one bag. Each meal uses the same ingredients to minimize food waste.

What are you most looking forward to in this program?

Just providing people with free health resources and programs. It’s almost impossible to find anything this valuable for no cost. I really like being able to connect people to those programs.

What hobbies do you have outside of work?

I’m a plant mommy, so I enjoy taking care of them. I got into gardening at the beginning of the pandemic and enjoy that. I also love to travel and explore new restaurants in the city.

What’s your favorite food, favorite thing to cook or favorite recipe?

Anything sweet and traditional Thanksgiving foods.

What’s your favorite music, movies or tv shows?

Music: 2000s hip hop and R&B. My favorite movie is Mean Girls. TV Shows: Law and Order: SVU.

What’s the last book you read? How was it?

Room on the Broom. It’s a children’s book. I have two small kids, so I rarely read for myself!

Who or what inspires you?

My family!

What’s your favorite quote?

The will of God will not take where you the grace of God will not protect you.

If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?

I would be a food/travel blogger.

What’s one thing (not related to your job) that you could teach someone else how to do?

How to do their nails.