Christyanna Egun, Director of Partnerships, Center for Community Health Improvement, discusses her career journey, the importance of Women’s History Month and the secret for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Her recent publication is "How Cardiac Anesthesiology Can Help 'STEM' the Tide of Under-representation of Minorities in Science and Medicine" in the Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia.

How long have you worked at Mass General?

I’ve had the pleasure of working at Mass General for 10 years.

What excites you about community health at Mass General?

What excites me most about the work is the ability to collaborate with the community and Mass General staff on a unified goal of improving the health status for all people.

What do you like most about your job?

My colleagues and I have the opportunity to create inspirational and aspirational opportunities for young people and their families every day. My career journey has not been a straight line into public health, but has included stints in the fields of higher education, advertising and marketing. Even while on these divergent paths, my passion and volunteer activities have always been geared toward youth and my understanding that educational attainment has the power to be a great equalizer. It’s wonderful to now combine my passion with my daily profession.

Why is Women’s History Month important to you?

Women’s History Month is important because we stand on the shoulders of those women who came before us. They paved paths and removed obstacles so that our journey might be a bit smoother. As a woman of color, it’s important for me to acknowledge and show appreciation to women of color who made a difference, but were not visible and whose stories were not deemed as important enough to be told in their day and time.  I want my sons to know these women’s stories and embrace and, ultimately, share them with their children.

What advice do you have for women to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Laugh often and loudly, surround yourself with people who are honest and will hold you accountable. Learn from each failure, practice yoga once a week, and be open to changing your mind.