Voices – Women of HRSA: Sherese Warren

Voices – Women of HRSA: Sherese Warren


You know, my path to public
health really started by taking an ecological approach to health, looking at my family,
my community, and really trying to understand the pathways and decision making and policies
that influence health. I had this idea after college, and this was after the fact, that
I wanted to make a difference, and that led me on the path to study public health and
I began aligning my career accordingly. It’s one thing to sit behind your desk, and
we come up with these policies and procedures on how we’re going to monitor and provide
oversight to these health centers. But it’s not until you physically are there and you
see the patients, you see the providers, you see the community at large and how it’s affected
by the funding that we provide, that it really does for me, speaks volumes on what public
health is. You know, we’re changing populations, we’re changing lives. We’re improving heath
indices across the nation. The health center program really aim at providing
culturally competent, affordable, and comprehensive primary health care. The aim really is to
reduce health disparities within underserved communities, including our underserved women
and our most vulnerable populations. One particular instance I can recall – and
it really deals with a health center within my portfolio, or the health center program
– is that for two years they embarked on this rather grand capital project to improve or
revamp their women’s health department. I remember in the conclusion of the site visit,
when I was speaking to the board of directors about their strategic planning, and I asked
a simple question, “why women’s health?” Their response was really simple, and it really
was that “if we take care of the women, you know, the families will be taken care of as
well.” And that hit home for me. HRSA delivers for women’s health by really
offering quality health care, affordable health care, access to health care, without the ability
to pay, and it speaks to community changes, because our health centers are in the communities
that provide services to these underserved and vulnerable populations.

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