Pictured: (left) Samantha J. Perry, Project Manager
Samantha J. Perry has a BS in Biological Sciences from
Illinois State University and an MPH in Community Health from Southern Illinois
University-Carbondale. She was a Population Health Service Fellow from 2008
through 2010 with the City of Milwaukee Health Department and the March of Dimes.
Samantha is currently a Project Manager at the Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency in Racine, WI.
She is responsible for managing the Racine Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy
Families (LIHF), an initiative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin
Partnership Program. The goal of LIHF is to reduce African American infant
mortality in one of four counties in Southeastern Wisconsin. Samantha also manages
a stakeholders group as part of the Personal Responsibility Education Program
(PREP). PREP is designed as a community-wide effort to reduce the STI and teen
pregnancy rates of adolescents, ages 10 to 18 years old.
In 2012, Samantha was elected to serve on the Board of
Directors for the Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care (WAPC) as a
Consumer/Member-at-Large Representative. She was also appointed as the Regional
Stork’s Nest Coordinator within her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. In
this position, she oversees the progress and evaluation of 26 Nests that
provide prenatal education and incentives for at-risk women.
The practical experience and mentorship she obtained in the Fellowship
had a huge impact on Samantha’s career trajectory. She worked with inspiring
African American female administrators who provided her with real opportunities
to learn and grow. She also had excellent experiences with other public health professionals
that provided her with wonderful opportunities, such as serving as a guest
speaker for college courses and working on aspects of city needs assessments. All
of her experiences, coupled with support from Fellowship program staff, helped
to shape her strengths and interests as a public health professional.
Samantha’s advice for current and prospective Fellows: “The
experience as a Fellow is very important, especially if you don’t have work
experience that relates to public health. It really opens your eyes to office
culture and all sides of public health, from the grassroots level to administration.
It is important to gain experience on each level, if you can, because you never
know what your next adventure will be.”