We are delighted to welcome Vanessa Shields to our LavenderHealth blogging team! I met Vanessa last fall when I was in New Orleans to work with students and faculty at Louisiana State University. Vanessa is a New Orleans-based public health activist enrolled in
an accelerated BSN program at Louisiana State University. As an advocate for access to universal, preventative health care and comprehensive sexual education, Vanessa is a Louisiana-certified HIV/STD counselor and tester working with the LGBTQ community and injection drug users. She is a volunteer with the New Orleans Abortion Fund where she helps provide women in Louisiana with financial assistance to access safe, legal abortions regardless of their economic situation. As a board member of the New Orleans Adolescent Reproductive Health Program, Vanessa is focused on the inclusion of LGBTQ-health into comprehensive, medically accurate sexual education for high school students. Vanessa previously worked with the Louisiana Office of Public Health as an HIV/STD Capacity Building Specialist and with the United States Agency for International Development in Nigeria and Guyana where she helped develop supply chains for the delivery of anti-retroviral drugs and medical equipment in the fight against HIV and AIDs. She holds an MA in International Development from Bradford University, UK.
We are looking forward to working with Vanessa and hearing from her regularly on the LavenderHealth blog! Welcome, Vanessa!