National Public Health Week, celebrated during the first week of April, is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight and reflect on issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. National Public Health Week has been recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA) for over 25 years and this year’s theme is “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.”
This year’s theme has a goal to ensure that everyone, in all cultural communities, has a chance at a long and healthy life. To ensure this, we must work together to identify, address, and prevent the underlying causes of poor health and the risk for diseases. Social determinants of health (the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes) can be used to understand how underlying causes of poor health and disease risk are different for each person.
At HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM), we are fortunate to have many staff members who have backgrounds in Public Health. These staff members have many years of experience and schooling that has set them up for success in their field and in their positions at HCAM. Read below to learn more about some of our staff members’ backgrounds in Public Health and how it relates to their current role at HCAM.
Bianca Dudley – State Care Coordinator, Recovery Care Services – Bianca’s background in Public Health consists of working with the Baltimore City Health Department assisting clients who had COVID-19. She conducted investigations to find the people that they encountered to inform them of the possible transfer of COVID-19. Once she contacted them, she gave them guidelines on how to quarantine and stop the transfer of the disease.
Shante Johnson – Recovery Care Services Program Manager – Shante is an alumnus of Morgan State University, where she received a master’s degree in public health with a focus in Social and Behavioral Health Science as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Education, Health Promotion. Shante has years of experience in assessing, implementing, and evaluating public health/community-based programs in Baltimore City. In her current role she oversees the daily operations and logistics of the program within Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City. In conjunction with this work, she also mentors undergraduate students majoring in Behavioral Health under the Dr. Maxie Colliers Scholars Program at Coppin State University.
Sara Lewis – Maternal and Child Health Initiatives Program Manager – Public Health is the “family business” for Sara Lewis – both her father and uncle are Public Health professionals. She decided from an early age that Public Health was her calling. Sara began her career as a Peer Health Educator in college, interning at the Frederick County Health Department in their STI and Family Planning clinics and developing educational materials for use with adolescents, and then joining the Peace Corps and serving in Tanzania as a Peer Health Educator focusing on HIV prevention. She earned my master’s in public health with a concentration in Women’s and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As MCH Program Manager for Centralized Intake, Sara is responsible for overseeing the MCH Central Triage System to ensure optimized care coordination for all pregnant and postpartum people and infants, and supervise HCAM’s MCH Initiatives staff. Through her work at HCAM, Sara is working to improve measurable outcomes for maternal and infant health and influencing Public Health programming and policies to advance equity for women and children throughout the city of Baltimore. Through our work with of B’More for Healthy Babies and as Central Intake increasing access to services for Medicaid eligible pregnant people and their babies, I am able to have a significant impact on not just the families we serve currently but generations of Baltimoreans to come.
Jasmine Pierce – Maternal Child Health Community Liaison/Supervisor, Centralized Intake – Jasmine’s experience leading the Overdose Response Team in Anne Arundel County allowed for her to connect with the outreach community, including individuals and their family members struggling with drug addiction, businesses affected by individuals with substance use disorders, and government facilities such as correctional facilities, police and fire departments. During her tenure, she organized and conducted Naloxone training and implemented an Outreach Program (AA POWER), while serving as a spokesperson on multiple media platforms to discuss the rising number of opioid overdoses and promote preventive measures. As a Maternal Child Health Community Liaison/Supervisor, Jasmine’s role involves serving as the administrative liaison for the Baltimore City Home Visiting Program (HVP), MCO Prenatal Incentive Programs, and regional Prenatal/Parenting Support resources. As a Public Health Analyst, Jasmine’s work involves analyzing and interpreting health data to identify trends and patterns that inform evidence-based public health interventions. Her role also entails collaborating with public health agencies and stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate programs and policies that improve health outcomes in communities. Through her work, she contributes to the broader public health agenda by generating evidence and knowledge that supports effective decision-making and resource allocation towards achieving health equity and social justice.
Erica Revis – Deputy Director, Connector Program – Erica was a Pre-Pharmacy major, and after working in a pharmacy setting, she knew it wasn’t for her. Every day, she saw people who looked like her dropping off handfuls of prescriptions for preventable diseases, and on top of that, they had no primary care doctor. She decided she wanted to be in a field that focused on prevention and education and pursued a degree in Public Health. She received her Master’s of Public Health from Morgan State University in 2012. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed while Erica was in graduate school, and she studied it extensively. Her knowledge of policy coupled with her passion for helping people has afforded her the opportunity to connect people to health insurance and community resources through persistent outreach and education. She has been with the Connector program for almost ten years, and she feels as though there is no better feeling than being a part of a program that has and continues to improve the health outcomes of the uninsured and underinsured population of Maryland.
Rebecca Spare – Social Work Medical Case Manager – Rebecca is currently finishing her master’s in public health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins and plans to finish up in August 2023! Rebecca has worked with children and families since 1999, and from 1999-2001 she worked with the University of Maryland educating teens in public housing neighborhoods about AIDS/HIV and sexual health. She was in the field working with foster care youth for 15 years before joining HCAM’s MATCH program in 2015. For the MATCH program, public health information regarding the disparities of care for youth in the foster care system, adolescent health issues, childhood victimization, food insecurities/food deserts, are a part of the youth the program serves. Her lifelong passion has been working with children and helping them in any way that she can to deal with the trauma they have experienced.
Interested in joining our amazing team and making a difference in the lives of Marylanders? Check out our current job openings!