Community Health & Outreach Manager, Dignity Health
Liza Kirkland is the Community Health and Outreach manager at Dignity Health and was drawn to the world of public health through her desire to help underserved communities gain access to services that will improve their health and wellbeing.
Her career path began with a health scare in her family. When Liza was 13, her younger brother, who was 9, was diagnosed with leukemia. He’s a healthy adult now, but it was a challenging time for her family. Barely a teen herself, Liza had to help her parents, Mexican immigrants with an 8th-grade education, navigate the complex healthcare system. Her first-hand experience inspired her to become an advocate and a voice for people with barriers to healthcare resources.
Liza’s mother, her food hero, grew up in Mexico surrounded by fruits and vegetables and made sure her children ate healthy, too. When Liza was two years old, her favorite vegetable was broccoli and she used to beg her mom for “little trees.” Her mom also signed her up for swimming lessons when she was a kid and she ended up earning a swimming scholarship to California State University, Fresno, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies.