Last Friday, Jessie Legros shared her personal and professional background in our Member Spotlight moment. Jessie has worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for nearly 13 years as a senior public health educator, spearheading leadership development programs for emerging public health leaders. She has extensive experience in organizational strategic planning, cultural competence, team building, group facilitation, and workforce development.
Jessie received her doctoral degree in organizational leadership
in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University, summa cum laude, and her master of
public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, cum laude, in maternal
and child health epidemiology and community health, in 1994. Previously, she
worked in academia teaching medical and public health students and conducting
public health research. She also founded a cross-cultural consulting
In addition, Jessie worked at the state level in Florida, leading a statewide public health initiative to advance health equity and working to incorporate its principles into the daily work of the state of Florida Area Health Education Centers. She served as statewide administrator of the Florida Border Health Education and Training Centers (HETC) Program from April 1998 through October 2003.
Jessie has conducted training for public health practitioners, including epidemiologists, nationally and internationally with CDC’s Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program. Dr. Legros is perpetually exploring new ideas; she recently completed a certificate program in Applying Behavioral Insights into Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the Fall of 2017.
She has received numerous awards for her public health activities, including her center’s (2018), and other collaborating CDC centers (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012) Awards; CDC and ATSDR Honor Award for Excellence in Program Delivery (Ebola International Infection Control Team), 2014-2015; National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Honor Award Certificate for outstanding support and leadership in CDC’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, 2014-2015; NCEZID Honor Award Certificate for rapid and sustained improvements in infection prevention and control in West Africa during the Ebola epidemic, 2014-2015; CDC H1N1 Team Response Award, 2009; and the CDC National Center for Public Health Informatics, Office of the Director, “Director’s Top Collaborator’s Award” for outstanding communication and collaboration with partner organizations, 2008.
Jessie is most proud of her volunteer work in Haiti since 2010, organizing medical/dental/public health fairs for over 16,000 men, women, and children and of publishing her fifth book chapter “Partner Concurrency and Relationships Dynamics” in Poverty in the United States: Women’s Voices (Springer: 2017).
Jessie has followed these passions in her work with Rotary. She traveled to Haiti with Louise Barden as we worked on projects impacting public health, and was a featured speaker at the Rotary International Convention in Toronto in 2018 in a very popular session regarding undetected bias.