What prompted you to join Southside Wellness Coalition?
I have always been passionate about serving others. I have over 15 years’ experience working in the mental and behavioral health field and when I was approached by a friend to join, I knew that this would be a great opportunity to help serve my community. I have seen the work that the Southside Wellness Coalition has done, and I want to be a part in helping to carry its mission and vision forward.
What do you consider to be one of Southside’s biggest challenges?
There is a big health equity issue surrounding access to mental and behavioral healthcare. I have lived in various parts of the state and I have seen what is available to help those in need. I believe that as a rural area we do not get the attention and resources that other localities receive and we need to bring more awareness to this.
What do you consider to be one of Southside’s biggest strengths?
Community. Having lived in different areas, I can say that I have felt the most welcomed here. I grew up here and I never felt alone. I felt that I belonged and that I had people to support me. When I moved back to the area, I realized that what I was experiencing was community. I was in an environment in which I could thrive because I felt I was surrounded by others that wanted the best for me, made me feel safe, I could trust them, and they could trust me.
If you are employed outside your home, what kind of work do you do?
I currently work for Alera Health, a health population management organization. In my role, I work in the development and maintenance of integrated systems of care working with hospitals, emergency rooms, primary care, behavioral health, and post-acute care providers to provide timely and effective care to individuals. I am also currently a full time student pursing my doctorate in Psychology with and emphasis on Cognition and Instruction. My research is focusing on health inequity and the development of medical mistrust.
What is something you’ve always wanted to do?
I have a goal to one day publish children’s books and voice the characters. I love writing and have long had a desire to do voice acting so it would be nice to put the two together.
What is your favorite quote?
“A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help.” – Unknown