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MPHA is honoring public health heroes during Black History Month. Each week we will spotlight a different public health leader chosen by MPHA’s Health and Racial Equity Committee. This week we honor Ms. Shanell Williamson.

Shanell Williamson is a dedicated healthcare professional with a strong commitment to serving her community. Originally from Bassfield, MS, she has remained rooted in her hometown throughout her career. With an impressive 25-year career in healthcare, Shanell’s journey began at Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, INC. (SEMRHI), where she started as a Medical Receptionist and steadily advanced to the role of Community Engagement Manager.

Throughout her time at SEMRHI, Shanell has consistently shown her commitment to community outreach, taking on various administrative responsibilities while prioritizing direct engagement with local residents. Her work has been instrumental in addressing health disparities and promoting wellness initiatives within underserved communities.

Shanell’s educational background includes earning an Associate’s Degree in Arts from Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg, MS. She is currently enrolled at Jackson State University, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Her extensive experience in healthcare equips her with a unique skill set for addressing both administrative and community health needs effectively.

In her role as a Community Engagement Manager/Community Health Worker at Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, INC. (SEMRHI), Shanell continues to make a significant impact through the organization’s partnership with The Mississippi SHINE Project. Through SHINE, Shanell provides valuable information to communities regarding health disparities, utilizing various platforms such as meetings, seminars, health fairs and public advertisements.

Beyond her professional achievements, Shanell is also a devoted Christian, a family woman, and the loving mother of one son, Austin Oatis. Shanell Williamson’s unwavering dedication to improving community health and her commitment to serving underserved communities characterize her as a valuable asset to SEMRHI, MS SHINE Project, and the communities she serves.

Source: Mississippi Public Health Association

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