The Director of Community Engagement and Outreach works closely with diverse groups of people in community organizations throughout the city of Richmond (VA) to promote a better understanding about health disparities. This position leads the implementation of the community engagement and outreach strategy and programming as a part of the Community Engagement and Outreach mission within the VCU Center on Health Disparities.
Alisa Brewer is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors degree in Experimental Psychology (2004) and a Masters of Science in Public Health with concentration in Health Education Promotion and Behavior (2008).
Specializing in the training, building and mobilizing of community partnerships for enhanced wellness practice, self assessment, and leadership, Alisa came to the Center on Health Disparities with over 6 years devoted to NIH-funded community-based participatory research (CBPR): as a CBPR intervention specialist/coordinator, Alisa served on projects to develop education curriculum and implement training for cardiovascular health and coalition building among minority churches across the state of South Carolina; she also designed and managed school-community trainings to support peer leadership and learning in a multi-component partnership intervention to increase physical activity among South Carolina preschools. Cumulative public health work history includes contributions to health programming and research for cardiovascular wellness, cancer prevention, weight loss, and reproductive health. Service activities include Meals on Wheels, adolescent mentoring, health council memberships, and English as a Second Language (ESL) conversation support. Personal academic research explored cultural themes among the African American community as related to health intervention interest and effectiveness.
What Alisa most enjoys about her work is developing and supporting relationships for education, innovation, community empowerment and ownership. She finds that these practices bring about the best trust, sustainability, and personal growth among participants involved.
As a member of the Center on Health Disparities team, Alisa coordinates student and staff community service and outreach opportunities, organizes academic discussion groups for campus and community representatives, as well as identifies, promotes and maintains community engagement relationships and initiatives across CoHD partners for minority health, including delivery of NIHMD grant funded preterm birth and health literacy education among neighboring housing communities and health resource centers.