Becca Bakal (She, Her, Hers)
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Becca worked full-time in the Jewish community for four years, first as a health educator and then a program manager at the Norton & Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics. In this position, she visited Jewish organizations throughout Illinois to educate the community about Jewish genetic conditions and encourage genetic testing.
Becca is also a doula, coaching through the childbirth process and providing support of all kinds during pregnancy, birth, and afterwards. She serves on a community engagement workshop at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH, the Associate Board of EverThrive IL, and Northwestern University's Biomedical Institutional Review Board, where she combines her passions for genetics and maternal and child health to improve community health.
Nowadays, Becca maintains her Jewish connection by continuing her childhood involvement with Beth Tikvah, leading a Rosh Chodesh group for teenage girls at Moriah Congregation, and advocating for immigration justice with JCUA's Immigration Committee.
Program Manager at Sinai Urban Health Institute
ON THE SIDE:
Jewish educator (religious school teacher and Moving Traditions Rosh Chodesh group leader), advocate for clinical research subjects (member of Northwestern's Institutional Review Board for human subject research)
YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE:
The solution to your problem might just be to take a nap, have a snack, or go for a walk.
HOW HAVE YOU CREATED A SOCIAL IMPACT THIS YEAR:
I often serve as a resource on all things public health-related because of my professional background, so this year has been a busy one! I advocated for the passage of legislation to expand access to Medicaid in Illinois (which passed!), facilitated trainings for volunteers supporting families during the birth and the postpartum period, and even had a small role in the planning of a Jewish community contact tracing initiative.