New scholarships hope to boost community health worker numbers

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Angela Fields likes to say her career in healthcare began at the age of four when her mother was too ill to cook breakfast for the family one morning. 

“She was incapacitated and could not get out of bed,” Fields said. 

Fields followed her mother’s instructions and whipped up scrambled eggs, which she served to her mother in bed. Fields’ mother suffered from a variety of medical conditions throughout life, including epilepsy, lupus, and hypertension. Still, she volunteered in her community on the South Side of Chicago, helping senior citizens apply for rent rebates, cuddling premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, and helping prepare impoverished people for job interviews.

That tenacity inspired Fields to pursue a career in healthcare, and eventually focus on a public service role; she became certified as a community health worker in 2006. 


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