Stories from our fellows

Congratulations to the new fellows!

We are so excited for you to meet the new 2021 Healthy Communities Fellows!

Take a moment to go check them out on our Fellows page.

Congratulations to the new fellows!
2021 Healthy Communities Fellow
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"Delivering difficult truths: What coronavirus reveals about giving birth in America"

2020 Healthy Communities Fellow Adrienne Crawford is a Certified Nurse Midwife who believes black women thrive with culturally competent care. She practices at Community of Hope in Washington DC, where some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates exist in the United States among African American communities. Adrienne is working to change this reality. Passionate about women’s health and reproductive justice, Adrienne brings over 15 years of experience in women’s health and is also a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant.

"Delivering difficult truths: What coronavirus reveals about giving birth in America"
Adrienne Crawford
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"COVID-19 front lines need community health workers, yet they're not getting needed support"

Denise Octavia Smith, MBA, CHW, PN is the founding Executive Director of the National Association of Community Health Workers where she currently leads national advocacy on Community Health Worker capacity and roles to center community voice, drive equity and strengthen public health response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Smith has contributed to national initiatives and research to integrate community health workers into the ACA marketplace and during COVID-19, improve trust and communication between providers and patients on cost and value in treatment options.

"COVID-19 front lines need community health workers, yet they're not getting needed support"
Denise Smith
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"Mama, am I going to die young because I'm black in America?"

Erasma Monticciolo is a native New Yorker who grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where she co-founded Power of Two in 2015. As the Executive Director, she uses science and community experience to mitigate the negative impact of intergenerational family trauma to build resilient and thriving communities. Through her work, Erasma lives her values every day, ensuring that children in New York City’s most vulnerable communities have opportunities to dream and achieve beyond their present circumstances.

"Mama, am I going to die young because I'm black in America?"
Erasma Monticciolo
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"COVID-19 has taught us how closely we are all connected"

2020 Healthy Communities Fellow Genoveva Islas is the Founder & CEO of Cultiva La Salud. Genoveva is a public health advocate fighting to advance heath equity in California’s San Joaquin Valley where too many families have suffered the loss of loved ones from preventable causes. Genoveva is a recognized Culture of Health Leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  

"COVID-19 has taught us how closely we are all connected"
Genoveva Islas
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"Why We Need a Black Breastfeeding Week"

2021 Healthy Communities Fellow LaBrisa Williams is the Executive Director of the Tulsa Birth Equity Initiative, an organization whose mission is to equip families in Tulsa to have healthy births with dignity and reduce maternal health disparities She fills gaps that have historically been ignored and connects birth workers with resources and supports to increase access to Doula of color to address health inequities in Black and Brown communities in Tulsa to build healthier families.

"Why We Need a Black Breastfeeding Week"
LaBrisa Williams
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"How to be an exceptional woman without even trying"

Marion Subah, a Health System Strengthening public health professional is a registered Nurse Midwife with great passion for quality Reproductive Maternal Newborn and Child Health that empowers women and children to not only survive but thrive in healthy communities. She currently leads the Last Mile Health portfolio in Liberia providing technical assistance and support to the Ministry of Health at national and subnational levels, in collaboration and coordination with community health partners/donors and communities to deliver quality services in order to save lives and improve health in remote communities.

"How to be an exceptional woman without even trying"
Marion Subah
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"Reagan gave my father path to citizenship. Immigrants fighting pandemic deserve the same."

2020 Healthy Communities Fellow Mirtha Santana is the Vice President of Riseboro’s Empowerment Division. A long-time resident of the low-income community of Bushwick Brooklyn, Mirtha knows from personal experience the impact of affordable housing. Her commitment to homelessness prevention stems from her deep belief that no child should be sleeping in a homeless shelter. Mirtha joined RiseBoro Community Partnership in 2007 and immersed herself in services for low-income, disenfranchised and homeless families.

"Reagan gave my father path to citizenship. Immigrants fighting pandemic deserve the same."
Mirtha Santana
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