Young Professionals Executive Board
Jacqueline Millie Najjuka Kiwanuka is a Ugandan Canadian that was born in Harare Zimbabwe and immigrated with her family to Canada at the tender age of eighteen months old. Her family settled in Etobicoke in the City of Toronto where she was raised and attended St. Leo’s Catholic Elementary School and Bishop Allen Academy Secondary School. In June 2008, she graduated from the University of Toronto at the St. George Campus, specializing in Toxicology (HBSc). Her community service work involved mostly working with the youth. In the years 2001, 2005 and 2006, she was involved in organizing RUCKUS, which is an annual talent show organized by SEYA and the Lakeshore Area Multi Services Project (LAMP) Community Health Centre. This annual event showcases youth talent in South Etobicoke. In 2006, she volunteered at Mount Sinai Hospital in the CT Scan where her interest to be a leader in the medical field and provide medical care and assistance to areas in the world that are afflicted with devastating diseases and environmental conditions flourished.
In 2009, she was accepted into Master of Public Health program at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta Georgia. During her matriculation, she was involved in community-based research in public health, and various volunteering activities such as interning at SisterSong Women of Colour Reproductive Health Collective which consists of a national network of women of color and affiliated organizations working to educate policy makers on reproductive and sexual health and rights. The aim of this initiative is to secure accessibility of women who are most at risk to health care services, information, and resources that are culturally competent. Also, she was a program facilitator for a mini grant titled, “My Body, My Life”, at Benjamin Mays High School (located in the inner city of Atlanta Georgia) which she assisted in implementing an HIV/AIDS, Body Image and Cervical Cancer Awareness Program to female high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. In addition, she facilitated weekly program exercises tailored to weekly objectives and the results of the program after pre and post tests demonstrated and increase knowledge awareness of the health issues discussed by 90%.
In 2010, she travelled to South Africa for a three month internship with the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogen Research Unit (RMPRU) at Chris Hani Baragwaneth Hospital (CHBH) in Soweto Africa. It was in Soweto where she partook in an intensive community-based prospective rotavirus sentinel surveillance program that initially started in 2008. The objective of the program was to monitor the incidence of rotavirus-induced pediatric gastroenteritis hospitalization after the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine was implemented nationally into the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in South Africa in 2009. Her internship at CHBH was the inspiration of the completion of her thesis titled, “Assessing the Impact of Increased Utilization of Antiretrovirals (ARVs) on Pediatric Gastroenteritis Hospitalizations at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Soweto, South Africa”. In May 2011, she received her Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) with a concentration in International Health from Morehouse School of Medicine.
Currently, she is a Board Member of LAMP Community Health Centre (2011-2013) for Lamp Community Centre located in southern Etobicoke that provides essential public health services to marginalized and diverse populations. As a board member, it has provided Jacqueline a humbling role in understanding how vital the implementation of policies and building collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders is in the sustainability of programs and services to the surrounding community in order to improve population health. Also, she is in on the Executive Board as the Lead of Public Relations for the Young Professionals (YP) of the Black Business Professional Association (BBPA) where her natural ability to network and connect with diverse groups of people has contributed to the anticipated relaunch of the YP BBPA events and collaborations.
Her future ambition is to work in the field of Public Health in Toronto, and use the skill sets and life experiences she has attained in Atlanta to empower and improve the health of the communities where she was raised. Furthermore, her long-term goal is to attend medical school to become a physician and use her life experiences, academics and passion to make possible that medical services and resources are there for vulnerable children plagued by preventable illnesses and diseases that live in developing countries. Other growing interests she wants to purse is public relations work in entertainment, music and community work on causes that she is passionate for. If there is one word to describe Jacqueline, that word would be determined. She has faced many obstacles along the way but is not slowing down anytime soon. She has mentioned she is not where she wants to be as of yet, but she knows she is on her way there.