Hello everyone my name is Yaa Enin!
I am the newest member of the Go Folic! program and team. I am ecstatic to be working with this women’s health focused program and to meet the diverse clients we DO and WILL serve. Ever since I was a young girl growing up (a fairly cute one I might add! Ha!) I’ve dreamed of being a doctor. I have always had this picture of people coming to me sick, uncomfortable, unhappy and hurting, I would heal them. I would know exactly what their ailments were just by looking at them and prescribe the right medicine to treat their illnesses. During my second year at San Francisco State and my first public health class, this vision began to break. It not only broke, it shattered but it also took shape and reformed itself into a more clear and realistic view. This is not the 19th century, diseases cannot be treated in the same way they once were. By the time I graduated with my B.A. in Health Education I knew what I wanted to do.
During my last semester, I interned with the San Francisco Immunization Coalition on a campaign to increase immunizations in underserved communities. It was there that I was able to see firsthand how important it is to prevent illness by promoting health and healthy habits. I was also able to witness the power of influence as we partnered with the San Francisco Giants, Glide Memorial and Southeast Health Center on a press event aimed raising awareness about the importance of immunization in African-American communities.
My next position landed me at the Truancy Intervention Program in the Western Addition. The goal of this program was to provide support and assist truant teenagers in re-entering school. I soon found out that issues regarding truancy had little to do with teens refusing to go to school – that was just a symptom. The root of the issue was the environment, access and most importantly the beliefs and mindset held by the teenagers that governed their behavior. I realized that these issues paralleled issues concerning health.
Currently, the majority of health epidemics are related to behaviors instead of pathogens. Since the diseases have changed, the treatments must change as well. We do not fight against an antigen; we fight for education, access, and accountability for us all equally. We win the battle against illness, not by merely treating sickness but by promoting health and preventing disease. I’m so honored to be in this fight!
See you on the front lines!