CHANDRA R. STORY, PHD, MCHES, MT (ASCP)
Chandra R. Story, PhD, MCHES, MT (ASCP) has been a member of APHA for 5 years with membership in the Public Health Education and Health Promotion sections, and recent involvement in the Women’s Caucus. Chandra just took the role as policy co-chair.
When did your career in Public Health begin?
My public health career began at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA. As a clinical medical technologist, I was responsible for specimen testing and patient visits. During my visits, I noted chronic disease disparities between women and men. My heart began to hurt as I saw racial minority female patients being discharged and continually returning. Later in my career, I served as a public health information officer for a federally funded children’s mental health grant. I developed health communication campaigns alongside mothers who were battle worn from advocating for their children. Through these roles, I realized that women’s health issues are often minimized and misunderstood in a variety of settings.
My compassion and curiosity pertaining to Women’s health issues strengthened as a doctoral student. I served as an evaluator for the AIDS United Southern REACH program. The voices of women across the South living with HIV/AIDS crystallized my belief in holistic health for all women. My PhD is in Community Health Education, with a cognate in Cultural education studies.
Describe some of the work (related to women’s health) that you are currently doing.
I currently serve as an associate professor of Community and Public Health at Middle Tennessee State University. More than 50% of our students are African American female, so I welcome the opportunity to train the next generation of culturally sensitive and skilled public health professionals. I teach an interdisciplinary Women’s Health course which introduces students to a variety of current topics. I also serve on the Middle Tennessee State University President’s Commission on the status of Women. The purpose of the Commission is to respond to issues of inequity for women on campus. My scholarship includes a focus on assessment and evaluation of programs for vulnerable and marginalized populations. All dimensions of my work continue to fuel my enthusiasm for gender health equity.
What motivates you to do the work that you have done and/or are doing in regards to women’s health?
Many of our African American female students share their personal and family journeys in living with chronic disease, which impacts me greatly. I also reflect on stories of my own family members who live with chronic disease. I believe that understanding and applying the social determinants of health from a cultural perspective could resolve many of these issues. As the daughter of a freedom rider, I am honored to work with many others in our activism for gender health equity.
Middle Tennesee State University