Hester Simons

2014-2016 Cohort

Hester completed her MPH in Community Health Promotion at the University of Minnesota. During graduate school, Hester worked as an evaluation consultant on an Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative grant at a community center in Minneapolis. She also volunteered as a Spanish interpreter at a free student-run clinic. For her master’s project, she conducted a research project with the Minnesota Department of Health to assess the barriers to HIV testing among the African-born and Latino populations in Minnesota. During her Fellowship, Hester was placed with both the Minority Health Program at the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and with Centro Hispano of Dane County in Madison. At Centro Hispano, Hester evaluated Centro’s youth programming and various projects targeting the social determinants of health for the Latino community in Dane County. With the Minority Health Program, she worked on projects and policies focused on health equity. Her primary project was to manage the Health Equity Check-In, a series of community-led focus groups conducted throughout Wisconsin to gather community health priorities and evaluate the results of the Healthiest Wisconsin 2020 Baseline and Health Disparities Report. She also coordinated the first year of implementation of the Wisconsin Minority Health HIV Partnership Initiative, a five-year project funded by the federal Office of Minority Health to address HIV disparities in Milwaukee. Preceptors: Evelyn Cruz & Karen Menendez-Coller