Avonlea Rickerson is a skilled public health professional with specialization in epidemiology, infectious diseases, and health education. She works as the Program Manager at Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA), overseeing the planning and execution of the Community-based Doula Taskforce, the Community-based Doula Summit, and other programs, as well as contributing as a grant writer and connecting with community partners. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Health Education with a minor in Chemistry from Howard University and later earned her Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has a heavy background in research and has used her expertise to help people all over the world.
After her work as an Analyst Intern with the Minnesota Department of Health, Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSHN), Avonlea educated over one-hundred high school students and provided free STI testing as a Sex Education Intern with The Women’s Collective. In 2019, Avonlea was chosen to be a Research Fellow with the Centre for the AIDS Programme Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). There she engaged in cutting-edge trans-disciplinary research in HIV/AIDS to develop a deeper understanding of HIV pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment. She collaborated with the research team on clinical trials, including the recruitment and retention process and social behavioral research. At the University of Michigan, Department of Neurology, Avonlea was a Research Assistant with the Stroke Ready Program, where she worked with faculty to conduct a stroke prevention program to improve stroke awareness in Flint, MI, specifically the African Americans community, and created evidence-based presentations. She went on to become a Research Associate with the Lead Pilot Program at the Detroit Department of Health, Division of Epidemiology.
Avonlea was the Activism Chair with the Public Health Students of African Descent where she volunteers in Detroit-supported community organizations and raises funds for women in prison and LGBTQ youth. She was the Social Chair of the Public Health Student Assembly (PHSA) where she coordinated over 80 community-building events with up to 200 attendees. She is also a Student Member of the American Public Health Association. In 2020, Avonlea joined the COVID-19 Investigation Team at the Detroit Department of Health as a Research Associate, in order to provide critical epidemiological data for positive and negative cases in Michigan. She was previously the Program Site Lead for the COVID-19 Sampling and Tracking Program and Vaccine Site Staff at Michigan Medicine. She also currently serves as the Clinical Research Associate for the Center of Sexuality and Health Disparities in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan.
Her STEM knowledge and heart for community education and healing is a great asset to the BMBFA team.
Avonlea’s LinkedIn profile