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Symposium on Race & Society
In Katrina's Wake: Racial Implications of the New Orleans Disaster. November 2-4 2006, Charlottesville Virginia
Speaker Bio

Yvette Highsmith Francis
Director, Community Health Center of New Britain

Yvette has over 15 years of experience in social/human services and health care settings. She has a lifelong commitment to the empowerment of people through organization, education and advocacy. Yvette's communication and leadership skills have been proven in diverse cultural and socio-economic settings. Yvette received her undergraduate degree from Long Island University where she was a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar. She received her Master's Degree in Business Management from Cambridge College.

As the director of the Community Health Center of New Britain, Yvette is responsible for the daily operation, program development, planning and supervision of a comprehensive primary outpatient medical facility including dental and mental health/social services; providing services to over 10,000 individuals annually.

For several years Yvette managed CHC's HIV/AIDS department. Under Yvette's leadership the HIV services expanded and became the model for providing comprehensive HIV care. Yvette has served as the co-chair for the Greater Hartford Ryan White Title I Planning Council; she was recognized by Hartford 's Mayor Eddie Perez in 2004 for her leadership in AIDS services throughout the state. She also received the NAACP's Health Leadership Award in 2005.

She is also an active member of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Middletown . She has stewardship over the Sunday School and Youth ministries and is a member of the dynamic Praise Ministry.

Yvette was born and raised in Middletown . She currently resides in Bristol with her husband Ayrton and their children, Desiree, Devin, Deion and Damani.

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