Michelle Fong, BA

Discipline: Public Health

About: Michelle Fong holds her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of San Diego and is a current graduate student in the University of New England’s Masters in Public Health (MPH) program. Her early career spanned almost two decades in the biosciences. She then became self-employed as a medical writer and transitioned into philanthropic and non-profit endeavors. She organized community check-ins during the Covid-19 pandemic, led a project with a local food pantry to revitalize their student weekend meal program, and currently works with Knox County Homeless Coalition developing collaborative cross-sector health programs for a new supportive housing project.

Advocacy for equitable, early identification and treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions became important to Michelle through her parenting experience. From it, she gained insight into the isolative experience of children and their parents encountering less-visible neurodevelopmental challenges such as ADHD, Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, and ASD. Further, she gathered awareness of access and navigation challenges associated with obtaining diagnostic, educational, healthcare, and legal services. Her journey and research have revealed thousands of families affected similarly and evidence indicating that left untreated, neurodevelopmental disabilities are a risk for accumulating poor health and economic outcomes over the life course. She hopes to apply her LEND experience to policy and program work to reduce the risk, create connection, improve health, and disrupt cyclical poverty.

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