Episode #4 Interview with Dr. Juanita Braxton: Establishing Health and Wellness Programs in Faith Ba
In this episode, Dr. Juanita Braxton shares her passion for community focused public health interventions, as well as her passion for educating and serving communities. She considers her PhD in public health to be her “community service” degree, as it provides her with the opportunity to give back to her community in many ways. Tune in to the full episode so that you can take in all that she shared, which is truly encouraging and inspirational.
Dr. Braxton discussed:
Her current position as the Director of Surgical Educational Services at the University of California, Davis Health System in Sacramento, CA and her role as a Community Health Educator
How she considers her PhD to be her “community service” degree, allowing her to give back to her community
How she first became interested in public health and how that interest developed into a passion
Her public health career goals, which are to:
Establish health and wellness programs in faith based organizations
Help those who are seeking academic success
Develop community health and wellness fairs that address the needs of the community
Her action plan to accomplish these goals:
Will draft correspondence for a church association I belong to determine interest
Currently reaching out to low-income and underserved communities for opportunities to come and share my vision
Plans to develop a quarterly newsletter to share on my FB page to share health and education information
Her Facebook page, The Imani Community Health Education and Wellness Facebook Page
Her company Imani Consultants PhD, which focuses on inspiring healthy minds and cultivating academic success
How her education plays a role in your career plans and goals
PhDs are considered experts in their field, which has allowed her to bypass a lot of the “new kid on the block” syndromes
Her degree allows her to be received as a key decision maker and valued stakeholder in public health
Why she chose an online school, especially considering that she works for a traditional brick and mortar university
How she managed work, school, family, and other responsibilities as a grad student
By maintaining a strict schedule for most aspects of my life, so that no one area would be neglected
Setting her study and writing schedule around other activities and vice versa
I asked Dr. Braxton if there was anything that she would have done differently, or a resource she would have maximized while in school but didn’t and wished she had.
She told me that she wished she had networked more as a student and volunteered more early on. Transitioning to any new field is hard as a PhD, and when that field is not your current career path then it can be difficult to maneuver and to find your place.
Dr. Braxton shared three strategies for graduate students to help them in preparing for the public health field upon graduation
Figure out what aspect of public health you enjoy.
Join a professional public health organization.
If you can’t find a paid position, volunteer in that area to network and learn.
Connect with Dr. Braxton:
Email Dr. Juanita Braxton
Link to FB group: Imani Community Health Education and Wellness - #ImaniConsultantsPhD
Link to FB page: Imani Consultants, Inc.