Julie Fitch

Julie Fitch
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana Cohort Start Year: 2017 Project Topic: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Populations Served: Low-Income Communities, People Living with HIV/AIDS
Testing and Capacity-Building Supervisor, STD/HIV Program
Louisiana Office of Public Health

Louisiana has some of the highest HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates in the nation, and communities of color and LGBTQ communities are the most heavily impacted by these and other health concerns. I hope to help reduce these disparities in New Orleans and across Louisiana by shifting organizations’ understanding of systemic oppression and fostering unconventional partnerships to address racism, transphobia, and homophobia.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Increasing Equitable Employment Pathways for LGBT People of Color in New Orleans
The focal point of action for my strategic initiative is increasing equitable employment pathways for LGBT people of color in New Orleans, which contribute to holistic health for this community. LGBT people face multifaceted challenges to holistic health, including access to quality housing, healthcare, employment and professional development, and safety. Given these barriers, an equitable approach to wellness for this community must include structural support that nurtures LGBT people not only in meeting basic needs but  a vision for lifelong independence and stability. My initiative will seek to augment existing employment opportunities in New Orleans in the area of professional and leadership development so that LGBT professionals are more affirmed and have institutionalized avenues of success. As more LGBT people of color see a path for professional growth and clarify their aspirations, health outcomes will improve.

I am a native Louisianan and Cajun who works with the Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program. I am dedicated to working for social justice and building meaningful relationships with communities served through the health department’s STD/HIV prevention and services work.

Click here to watch Julie’s Legacy Project video.