On November 9, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. We will highlight the nine honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.
Name: Erica Alexander
Occupation: Public Health Nurse
Nominated by: Central California Children’s Institute
For Erica Alexander, leading in the public health profession is not just a choice, but a responsibility. Having grown up in west Fresno, she says the great sense of community that surrounded her would ultimately pave her successful path as a public health nurse.
Coming from an area where health disparities are rampant, Alexander made it her mission to provide a voice to the west Fresno community that often goes unheard.
“Everyone needs a champion and advocate for their community. Otherwise, they get lost or forgotten in the shuffle of life. This is true of all communities – especially of the African American community. It’s important for them to see us in roles of leadership.”
Through her work at the Department of Public Health, Alexander played a vital role in educating and informing women about healthy outcomes. One area that’s held special significance to her is in the department’s Black Infant Health Program, which she led for the past 10 years.
In Fresno County, black babies are two to three times more likely to die in the first year of life and their mothers are more at-risk of dying from childbirth-related causes. Through Alexander’s steadfast perseverance and dedication, black infant mortality rates have been reduced and countless women and babies have been saved. Although no longer with the program, she leaves behind a lasting legacy.
Uplifting her community through awareness and prevention is what drives Alexander each day – and as she moves forward in her career, her fight for health equity will always carry her.
The 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 9, 2018 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.