Paulah is a Detroit native with a passion for advancing the health of Black people both at home and abroad. While obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Health and Environment at the University of Michigan, Paulah traveled to Kumasi, Ghana and contracted malaria two weeks into the trip. Experiencing an African healthcare system from the patient’s perspective and witnessing skilled providers working tirelessly in an underfunded and overcrowded facility heightened her sense of urgency to create broadscale change for Black people everywhere.
After completing her undergraduate studies, Paulah tested and counseled high-risk individuals for HIV in Michigan while applying to public health graduate programs. She moved to Atlanta upon acceptance into the Health Policy and Management track at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. In order to connect her global health roots with her studies in health policy and management, Paulah conducted research on the funding, operations, and local government support of an HIV prevention program in Zambia.
Currently, Paulah works on all things BLKHLTH; she serves on the task force for a public health management training program in Kenya, Bangladesh, and Cambodia; and she blogs about her natural hair journey.
Khadijah is passionate about improving the quality, accessibility, and affordability of health services delivered to the most marginalized members of our community. Areas of interests for her include health equity, social determinants of health, safety net health systems, population health, community health, and delivery system reform.
Khadijah has spent most of her professional career working within various healthcare delivery and payer settings partnering with clinicians and senior-level administrators to identify ways to improve engagement, satisfaction, and quality outcomes for vulnerable populations. Through these experiences, Khadijah has gained skills in areas such as policy analysis, project management, and quality improvement.
Khadijah received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Global Health from Emory University and a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Originally from Virginia, Khadijah currently resides in Atlanta and enjoys attempting new vegan recipes, listening to podcasts, and trying not to become too much of a policy wonk.
Matthew is an Atlanta native currently located in Washington, DC. He is a dedicated servant to pursuing health equity for all black people.
After graduating from Georgia State University, Matthew worked in direct service at a shelter for young adults. In this position, he mentored youth who were dealing with serious health issues like depression and anxiety, substance abuse, poor diet, and continued physical and emotional trauma. Matthew knew that these issues were symptoms of larger structural inequities and that the shelter was a microcosm of poor, minority neighborhoods across the country. Desiring to find solutions to these problems, Matthew enrolled at the Rollins School Public Health.
Through his professional work and BLKHLTH, Matthew combines his passion for empowering people, analyzing social problems, and developing creative solutions to help improve health. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys reading, cycling, hip-hop, and basketball.
“For she who has health has hope; and she who has hope, has everything” - Owen Arthur
Mercilla is a proud Atlanta native with a passion for improving the overall health of the black community through prevention and improving the health care delivery system. Growing up in a family of medical doctors and pharmacists, health care has always been an interest of hers. While in undergrad at Hampton University, Mercilla initially pursued a degree in Pharmacy; however, she learned that Pharmacy was not for her. One day in class, it dawned on Mercilla that she wanted to be a part of preventing diseases rather than only treating them. It was this epiphany that led her to the field of Public Health.
With the guidance of several mentors, Mercilla changed her major and obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Hampton University. She then continued her education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and received her Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management. Professionally, Mercilla has experience in grant writing, policy analysis, and program management. She hopes to use these skills and her background to bring about change in the health care delivery system.
When Mercilla is not working, she enjoys going to concerts, cooking, and traveling with friends.