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Jennifer is a strategic communicator who uses her skills to enhance community well-being through innovative approaches to healthcare, mental health, education, rural development and environmental remediation. Over her 30-year career, she has come to appreciate the importance of engaging the expertise of those with lived experience to drive meaningful change. She is thrilled to support Impact Health’s groundbreaking work to promote equitable opportunities for health across Western North Carolina.
In her previous role, Jennifer guided communications for the Mountain Area Health Education Center, a large WNC-based nonprofit focused on healthcare workforce development and community health. As a member of the WNC Health Communicators’ Collaborative, she helped develop a regional COVID-19 campaign that has been highlighted by the CDC. Jennifer is currently working with the WNC Health Network and fellow advisory council members to develop a regional campaign to reduce the stigma associated with substance use.
Prior to MAHEC, Jennifer worked for the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care where she helped design innovative mental health recovery programs that have supported thousands of families around the world. These peer-led programs focus on the underlying causes of distress including adverse childhood experiences, trauma, and systematic oppression.
Growing up, Jennifer moved frequently, but she always considered her family’s cabin in Yancey County her home. After the birth of her second child, she moved back to WNC. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and her master’s degree in sociology. She is passionate about social justice work and has participated in Building Bridges, Racial Equity Institute trainings, and gender-affirming care initiatives. Not all of her community building involves humans. In her spare time, she raises chickens and bees and shares her garden with deer, foxes, groundhogs, and the occasional black bear.