Shannon Wilson advocates for minority health care
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature profiles of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
Shannon Wilson is a rising, dynamic leader focused on improving the health and well-being of Grand Rapids area residents.
Passionate about strengthening the health care safety net for vulnerable populations, she has devoted most of her career to studying the intersection between health and race.
Wilson is motivated by a desire to improve the health care experience for minority populations and seeks to build partnerships that facilitate the reduction of disparities at the systemic and grassroots levels.
As executive director of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, Wilson leads efforts to improve the health and health care of the African-American community and is responsible for strategic planning, community outreach, research initiatives and advocacy.
She has repositioned the agency as a premier institution in Michigan, brokered strategic relationships with Grand Valley State University for research and mentoring and teaching opportunities and led the Strong Beginnings consortium to reduce African-American infant mortality.
Health care leader
Wilson is a founding member of the newly formed Anchor Organization Network, a collaboration of six organizations funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to improve the safety net of the urban core.
She concurrently serves as assistant vice president of the Alliance for Health, a broad-based community coalition encouraging optimal health through high quality, affordable health care services. In this role, Wilson oversees grant management, talent development and retention, community relations and several health quality improvement initiatives.
Previously, Wilson worked as the state of Michigan’s first health disparities epidemiologist and held positions within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.