Meet Alisa

Speaking at MHC & Black Ladies in Public Health's Women's HIV Event, Taking Back Our Lives -02/2020

Hi There! Welcome. I appreciate you stopping in to read about little ole' me. I'm sure you're wondering how all of my skill sets came together, and how I utilize them all. Well I'm a great story teller, and will guide you through the dots that had to connect to form who Alisa Howard is today.

Writing Background:

I love to write and have been doing so since elementary school. My mother used to gift me diary’s and I wrote stories in them, and as I grew up diary’s turned into journaling (which I did not know I was doing). Stories turned into poetry sometimes. I dreamed of becoming a published author one day, and in 2012 I did just that! I turned years of my poems into my first published book titled, Whispers of Words Spoken written and published under my pseudo name An Howard. My book was sold in Barnes and Noble stores in Las Vegas, on Amazon and on the publisher’s website. My love of the written word led me to start editing 8 years ago, from there I decided to start my very first business, An Howard Publishing (renamed, AHP Writing & Editing Co. in 2019) where I have edited the books of a couple dozen first-time authors and works of several university professors and business owners.

In 2013 I teamed up with B.O.S.S (Be Your Own Success Story) Magazine out of Atlanta, Georgia for several years as a contributing editor and writer. This nationally published magazine promoted education for minority youth, which I greatly believe in and have a passion for myself.

 

Educator/Instructor Background:

I spent two of my early college years mentoring and tutoring elementary school-aged children through AmeriCorps, working at local Title I schools and Boys & Girls Clubs. I was a substitute teacher for Clark County School District for three years, and I’ve also tutored and mentored minority “at-risk” girls through Lion’s Den, a project created by Professors, Dr. Theodore Ransaw and Emeritus of Michigan State University, Dr. Robert L. Green. 

My passion for kids didn’t just stop in the schools; for 5 years I volunteered as an Instructor/leader of a preteen girls’ mentorship program that assisted the girls with navigating life at their age through discussion at Victory Baptist Church. I was able to bring my skill set of writing into this program as well by teaching the girls how to journal and the benefits of it.

 

Public Health Start:

Writing tends to be a part of everything I do, and it actually led me into public health. My first job in the field was as a Policy & Procedure Writer and Editor for the State of Nevada’s Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Program in the Office of Public Health Informatics and Epidemiology. This job also allowed me to utilize my previous legal background as a Paralegal (experienced in: family, civil, criminal, intellectual property, personal injury) to interpret and research laws, NRS codes, and health policies. Shortly after learning my role, I was given a dual role as a Health Analyst, which involved contact tracing, working closely with the Department of Corrections, CDC, local and non-local health districts. These roles allowed me to have a clearer understanding of social determinants of health and how they affect communities of color, vulnerable and marginalized populations. This knowledge made me want to learn more about how I could help these communities.

I also worked for a year and half at the Southern Nevada Health District in the HIV/STD Surveillance Department (no longer called this) as a Data Disease Collection Specialist.

 

Speaking/Training/Policy & Advocacy:

My years in Toastmasters, years of working in law, providing customer service at every job I’ve obtained taught me how to utilize my voice to advocate for others, as well as to teach others to advocate for themselves. advocacy by publicly speaking, and providing education and prevention to those that are the most vulnerable in our country. In my next role as a former Director of an HIV Prevention & also an Early Intervention program (Ryan White Part B) at the Las Vegas Urban League I've spoken on community health panels, and at local conferences. worked with Black Democratic Legislators in testifying for Bill AB243.

 

Part of my advocacy includes co-hosting the National Black HIV/AIDS Day event here in Las Vegas for 4 years.  In 2015-2016, I worked with the HIV/STD department at the Southern Nevada Health District with implementing and hiring an HIV rapid testing team, HARTT (HIV/AIDS Rapid Testing Team) to bring education, prevention and testing to minority communities. We tested over 300 individuals from minority communities to bring access to testing to the community. We worked with Black owned barbershops and to provide testing in these shops as well. My team and I worked with this same department at the health district to hold and host HIV community focused round table events to bring community stakeholders and gatekeepers together to discuss strategies on the prevention of HIV in Black communities.

 

In 2017, although I had been doing the work for years, I became a Community Health Worker (CHW) through the training at College of Southern Nevada. Due to my teaching experience and community work and knowledge I was asked to be an Instructor for the CHW Training Program at the college. I accepted the position in early 2018. In this role I’ve advocated to state legislators on the importance of certifying the community health worker role here in Nevada, and teach the students how to do that as well. I'm honored to be able to share my knowledge and teach more professionals to be advocates for their community. My belief is the old adage, "Each one, Teach One”.

As you can see from my short list of accomplishments, I believe in reaching back and giving my time and energy to organizations and causes that uplift and empower communities. Looking back on my career path and journey, life has shown me that everything you’ve done will be used, and nothing will be wasted. That’s why it was so important for me to have started all ofmy businesses, in order to utilize all that I have, and all that I am to help others, which is my true purpose.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you’ve enjoyed a walk through my journey to becoming a Public Health Servant Leader, Educator, Trainer, Author, Writer, Editor and Author!