Q: How did your AT background help you as you transitioned your career path?
Heather: With my background, I brought a different perspective for individuals who wanted to know more about health and wellness. I used that as an asset to develop all different types of programming for not just health seekers, but middle-of-the-roaders, to the more advanced. I was able to develop a partnership between the Y and geriatric centers. I mean it was just endless, all the things that I was able to do.
I published my first book when I was working at the Y. I felt that working at the Y afforded me the opportunity to be able to do that, because you don't really have a lot of time when you're an athletic trainer.
Then I got a call from the CEO in Washington, DC saying they were going to create a new position for me which morphed into being the associate director of Community Health, where I oversaw all the chronic disease, integrated health, and community programs in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Q: What sort of lasting impact do you hope that your work has?
Heather: I want to not only change the life of the individuals I’m working with but change the lives of those individuals’ families -- directly and indirectly impacting people that I know and work with, and their families, and communities.
I also want to get more people involved in this profession through a health equity lens -- specifically through getting more African-American females and males into these professions, because we're under represented.