Personality: Brandi M. Daniels

Spotlight on Health Equity Hero Award winner

1/15/2016, 7:14 a.m.
Brandi M. Daniels serves on the front lines for the most vulnerable in the East End as the executive director ...

Brandi M. Daniels serves on the front lines for the most vulnerable in the East End as the executive director of the East District Family Resource Center.

She leads efforts to provide “access and services” in order for “East End residents to thrive, be healthy and engaged.” The Richmond native says the resource center is a “hub which cultivates engaged leaders, partners and citizens to uplift Richmond’s treasured communities.”

Mrs. Daniels was recognized for efforts to aid those in need by being selected as the 2015-2016 Health Equity Hero Award recipient by the Mid-Atlantic Health Equity Council.

The award “recognizes outstanding professionals dedicated to ending disparities in health care,” according to the group. She was presented the award last month at the resource center at 2405 Jefferson Ave.

“Her commitment to improving the quality of life for all youths and young adults served by the East District Family Resource Center epitomizes what the Health Equity Hero Award represents,” according to the council.

Mrs. Daniels says she was “shocked, honored and surprised” to learn she had won the award.

“It’s such an immeasurable experience to inspire others to not only go after, but also surpass achieving your goals,” she adds.

This week’s Personality is a real hero – Brandi M. Daniels:

Date of birth: Feb. 23.

Current place of residence: Chesterfield County.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Virginia; master’s of education in educational management, Strayer University; Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program Class 7 (2014) and Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management via the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence.

Family: Husband, Frank; three children, Asean, Daevon and Zoe.

Other honors: StyleWeekly’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2014.

How I got news that I was award winner: Via email.

Top issues facing the East District community: High unemployment, school dropouts, homelessness and crime/violence rates.

Some health disparities are: Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac disease.

What is needed to obtain health equity in some communities: Access to healthy lifestyle education and resources such as fresh food markets.

Our services are needed: To raise community awareness of resources that people need in order to sustain independence and quality of life in their household.

Services we provide include: Emergency assistance programs, career and workforce development, as well as education and outreach initiatives.

Number of partners center works with: Hundreds, including the City of Richmond, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Richmond City Health District, Virginia Department of Health Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Virginia Commonwealth University and the Community Foundation.

Number of staff: Four, along with a host of consultants.

Number of people served: 500 to 700 individuals per fiscal year.

We can do more if: We increase donors, staffing and organization/programs capacity.

I’m driven by: Community collaborative partnerships and leadership opportunities.

How I start my day: Think and/or say my own mantra, “Today is a new day that I can help reach and change someone’s perspective of themselves and their community.” As a product of the East End community, I am a walking testament that positive outcomes of one of Richmond’s most challenging communities do exist and that our experiences make us stronger to advocate for our own futures.

Best late-night snack: Popcorn and chips.

Not many people know that I: Sing.

The one thing I can’t stand: For someone to say “No, that can’t be done. The goal you’ve set is too high.”

Person who influenced me the most: Grandparents, parents and a host of community mentors all emphasized the importance of an education and service for those that could use the infinite spirit/power to change their perspective and outlook for the future.

Poem that influences me the most: “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson.

Next goal: Keep striving and possibly pursue a doctorate in leadership.