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Meet Our Newest Staff Members
The PRCHN recently welcomed two new staff members, both of whom are working on the Racial and Ethnic Approach to Community Health (REACH) initiative. Meet new REACH Community Fellows Maleka Embry and Briana McIntosh.

Maleka Embry

1) Tell me a bit about your work before you joined the PRCHN. Where did you work and what did you do?
Prior to joining the PRCHN, I worked as a Manager of Preventative Services at Premier Community Health – Fidelity Health Care. There, my role was to manage the health screenings program geared towards prevention and early detection of chronic diseases. In this position, I helped to identify target areas to promote chronic disease prevention where our company would then provide biometric screenings and counsel participants to support healthy lifestyle changes. Among other duties, I coordinated and facilitated training sessions for screening staff, oversaw the 10K Steps-a-Day Walking Program, and helped to provide data analysis for determining community health needs.

2) Tell me about your education. Where and what did you study? Will your work at the PRCHN be radically different than what you studied in college? In other words, has your career path made any unusual changes?
At Kentucky State University, I was on a pre-med track where I obtained a B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry minor. After being introduced to the world of public health in a seminar, I knew this was the route I wanted to take. I went on to earn my Master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health from Wright State University. Looking back, it may have seemed like my career path went a different route; however, I believe both areas were intertwined.

3) What aspects of your new position are most intriguing to you? What are you looking forward to?
Everything about this new position is intriguing. I am particularly excited that the REACH program was one that I analyzed in my graduate thesis and now I finally get to have a part in it. I like the fact that we are hands-on and working directly with community residents. It also is fulfilling to know that we are making a difference with something that was once a vision and now turning into a movement.

4) What are some of your interests outside of work?
Interests outside of work include: Spending time with my family and friends, writing, cooking, traveling, watching sports, fixing things, and community service.

5) Where did you grow up and where have you settled in Cleveland?  
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!). I have now settled in Maple Heights.

6) Is there anything else that you'd like to share with the PRCHN and its stakeholders?
I am very happy and excited to be here at the PRCHN. I am eager to learn from everyone and deep dive into my role. This is something that I am very passionate about and really hope I make a difference here.


Briana McIntosh

1) Tell me a bit about your work before you joined the PRCHN. Where did you work and what did you do?
Prior to coming to PRCHN, I worked at the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh as a community health promoter for their breast and cervical health program. My duties at the YWCA were to coordinate community outreach events, patient navigation, and facilitate health education workshops to women's groups throughout Allegheny County. The main focus of my work was managing and conducting a breast health education program for incarcerated women at the Allegheny County Jail. Working with women who are often marginalized from society and the field of public health provided me with a unique and meaningful opportunity that not many people get to experience.

2) Tell me about your education. Where and what did you study? Will your work at the PRCHN be radically different than what you studied in college? In other words, has your career path made any unusual changes?
After high school, I went to Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC for two years where I played basketball and was a pre-med student. Due to some family matters, I transferred to the University of Pittsburgh to be closer to home, which turned out to be the best decision I could have made. At Pitt, I majored in Africana Studies and received two certificates in Global Health and African Studies. The Africana studies major provided me with a foundation into the comprehensive study of the African, African-American, and Caribbean experience across major disciplines in the social sciences and humanities and gave me a unique perspective and sharpened knowledge about African-American, African, and Caribbean issues within historical and contemporary contexts. This background and my internship as a health educator for refugees is what led me to public health. I stayed at Pitt and received my MPH, focusing on behavioral and community health sciences and health equity. My thesis research was an evaluation of the breast health education program for incarcerated women at the Allegheny County Jail. Through both of these programs, my work and internship experiences, I feel fully prepared and excited to be at the PRCHN!

3) What aspects of your new position are most intriguing to you? What are you looking forward to?
I was drawn to PRCHN and this position because of the focus on community. When I first walked into the center for my interview, it already felt like home. My position is exciting because I get to work with residents on a daily basis, from whom I learn a great deal. During our meetings, it is really amazing to see how engaged and passionate they are about empowering themselves and their communities about social and health equity. The team of people that I get to work with is amazing, and I am really excited to have joined the REACH team in the beginning phases and being able to see it through. I am looking forward to seeing how residents from our priority neighborhoods develop initiatives in their areas and what comes from those projects!

4) What are some of your interests outside of work?
I have a three-year-old daughter, so much of my time outside of work revolves around her! Since moving to Cleveland, we have had a lot of fun exploring the MetroParks and going to Headlands beach. I collect beach glass and love the water, so going to the beach on weekly basis is not uncommon for us. I enjoy cooking Caribbean inspired food and listening to music, especially reggae and hip-hop. I also like to travel, paint, and kayak!

5) Where did you grow up and where have you settled in Cleveland?  
I consider South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and now Ohio my home(s). My parents are from Northwestern Pennsylvania, so I was born there and ended up back there later on. We moved to South Carolina when I was very young where we lived in Bamberg and on Edisto Island (near Charleston). I spent much of my childhood being a beach bum! When I was 11, we moved back to Pennsylvania, settling in a small college town called Edinboro. Since high school, I have lived in Asheville, NC, Pittsburgh, PA, and now Cleveland. My boyfriend, daughter and I live in Willoughby, less than a mile from the lake! Aside from living on Edisto, Cleveland is my favorite place to be so far. (It is so much nicer than Pittsburgh! Go Browns!)

6) Is there anything else that you'd like to share with the PRCHN and its stakeholders?
Thank you for this opportunity!
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