Health Equity Consultant
Anita Buel is well acquainted with the language comprehension and communication barriers experienced by many Deaf people. Anita’s advocacy career and passion for change started early and by 1986 her volunteer work was recognized by Governor Perpich. Her dream was to work in healthcare, but at the time, it was common for deaf people to be denied access to college. She eventually found her way to Gallaudet where she was hired to work as a physical therapy assistant at a local hospital. After returning to Minnesota she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. After treatment, she began to organize the “Pink Deafies,” the first and only, support group for Deaf breast cancer survivors. After Anita worked with the Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the St. Paul Public Schools and Metro Deaf School, she finished a Community Health Program. In 2005, Anita began her official CHW career through the support of the Echoing Green Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur Public Service Fellowship. Although she has many accomplishments, the greatest honor in her career was being elected as co-chair of the Minnesota Community Health Worker’s Peer Network. Before retiring, Anita was a co-teacher for a class at St. Catherine’s University in the ASL Medical Interpreting Department. Anita has received numerous local and national awards including, the 2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Community Health Leaders Award, and the Randy Shaver “Shining Star Award.”
Outside of all her volunteer work, she is a sought-out public speaker and has given numerous presentations to health professionals as well as within the Deaf community.
“I am glad that I can support deaf people in Minnesota through outreach, health education, advocacy, and working with MNCDHH.” ~ Anita Buel