Tammy Lee

Tammy Lee
Location: Oakland, California Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health Populations Served: African-American/Black, At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Immigrants and Refugees, Low-Income Communities, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders (NHPI), Young Children (0-5 years)
Community Epidemiologist
Alameda County Public Health Department

Alameda County aspires to be a place where everyone–regardless of where you live, how much money you have, or the color of your skin–can lead a healthy, fulfilling, and productive life. But the county is not there yet. It must tackle large and persistent health inequities based on place, race/racism, and income. As a community epidemiologist at Alameda County Public Health Department, Tammy helps people leverage data and research in their efforts to advance health equity. She examines critical questions about health inequities, like “why” and “so what.” She also conducts research in partnership with communities to bolster their capacity to advocate for change. Data by itself may not move the hearts and minds of people and decision-makers, but it can be a helpful tool in advancing change at multiple levels within institutions and communities.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Rooting Us in Health and Belonging in the Deep East: COVID-19 & Beyond
My strategic initiative  focuses on a 40×40 block area of East Oakland. This community is home to the largest concentration of African Americans city- and countywide but increasingly experiences gentrification and displacement. While heavily impacted by longstanding disinvestment, high poverty, cumulative health risks, and low life expectancy, the community remains resilient and strong in its cultural roots and resources. My initiative will be housed at Roots Community Health Center, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing African American health inequities. Partnering with Roots, East Oakland Building Healthy Communities, and Black Cultural Zone, our initiative will assess needs (in the face of COVID-19 and ongoing poverty, racism, and gentrification), map community assets, and engage residents in creative participatory methods to identify, protect, and build resources and connections for health and belonging.

Tammy’s commitment to health for all has roots in being a child of immigrants who greatly depended on the kindness of strangers; a community epidemiologist who has worked to advance equity in Alameda County for over a decade; and a mother of two who hopes all kids can thrive and be healthy.

Click here to watch Tammy’s Legacy Project video.