Shaunessy Lofton is a North Carolina native and Public Health professional. She received her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During her studies as a masters student, she also obtained a certificate in Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. As a public health professional, Shaunessy has contributed greatly to the NCDHHS’s NC Community Health Workers statewide initiative, developing a toolkit where she provided technical assistance for Advanced Medical Homes to integrate and optimize community health workers into their clinics. She believes that this work is integral to understanding the Social Determinants of Health that contribute to one’s health status. Shaunessy advocates for true equity being a priority in all care systems and knows that there is always space for bidirectional learning.
Shaunessy‘s professional goal is to normalize a culture that prioritizes equitable measures in research, implementation, and integration of strategies. Her dream is to live in a world where there’s a normalized culture that enables patients to be empowered in clinical settings to discuss biological, cultural, social, and psychological perspectives that contribute to health outcomes. Shaunessy has a passion for bringing qualitative data and the community’s voices to all decisions being made on the behalf of a community having created and facilitated many focus groups and advisory boards to help inform the work being done. During Shaunessy‘s spare time, you will generally find her volunteering in vulnerable communities with local organizations, spending time with her daughter, cooking, or traveling.