The editors’ shared interest in addressing public health issues and their appreciation for the power of narrative brought them together during their master’s program at Harvard. Their mutual interest in learning about pathways to careers in public health and discussing persistent and emerging public health challenges led them to start We are Public Health.
Alana LeBron is a doctoral candidate in the Health Behavior and Health Education Department at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her research interests include applying community-based participatory research approach to understand and to address the influence of racialization, immigration sentiments and immigration policies on health inequities for Latinos in the U.S. A graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health (2010), Alana’s studies and experiences have focused on program planning and evaluation for interventions seeking to reduce and eventually eliminate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities in health. Alana first learned about public health during her senior year of college from a college professor and has never looked back! Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Alana currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Michelle Lugalia-Hollon is a program associate at Polk Bros. Foundation where she primarily conducts their health grant making. In the past she has worked in diversity programming, youth development, maternal and child health, program evaluation and HIV/AIDS prevention. Also a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health (2010) she spent her time there learning and practicing program planning, implementation and evaluation as well as learning about the social determinants of health disparities. Michelle first learned about public health during her 2nd year of college when a friend casually mentioned it in conversation. She credits her immersion and growth in the field to her mentors who helped her discover the value of a public health education. Michelle is a native of Nairobi, Kenya and considers Chicago, Illinois where she lives with her husband, Ryan, and dashing dog, Diesel, home.
Jessica Yen is the Social Determinants of Health Manager at the Oregon Primary Care Association, a statewide training and advocacy network for Oregon’s community health centers, where she defines and organizes the organization’s work around the social determinants. Prior to that, she managed projects related to health care delivery system transformation for community health centers in California. Jessica has also worked in youth development, program evaluation, health education and health communication. In 2005, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to research Tibetan-influenced Chinese Popular Music. She holds a Masters from the Harvard School of Public Health and a Bachelors in Chinese Literature from UC Berkeley. She first learned about public health as a sophomore in college, when she participated in a dormitory-based peer health education program. Jessica grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently resides in Portland, OR.