Senior Health Equity Analyst, West Region
Sylvia Saxena, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, serves as a Senior Health Equity Analyst for I-HOPE, a statewide opportunity designed to address the effects of health disparities. As part of a regional Field Implementation Team, Sylvia brings voices to the table to talk about innovative ways to better connect people with the support they need to get healthy and stay healthy. Her work is part of Purdue Healthcare Advisors' partnership with the Indiana Department of Health to better prepare the state for the next pandemic by improving pandemic response, health equity, and health outcomes in 30 counties considered most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Sylvia thought her dream of obtaining a college degree was just a dream. But in 2012, she was the first in her family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. With a desire to help families like hers, she put her nursing degree to work at Purdue University’s Family Health Clinic of Monon, a federally qualified health center (FQHC). A few years later, she transitioned her role to a new position to start up the Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation Women Across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) program a part of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) in Lafayette. Sylvia had the opportunity to advance the BCCP’s purpose to help the low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women in her local community.
In her new position, she was able to provide a free, but limited, set of services that were mostly restricted to preventative interventions. Sylvia felt quite limited in her ability to help the women who she knew needed more help. Sylvia thought that an advanced degree would vastly enhance her ability as well as the scope of help she could provide. With the support of her husband and children in 2018, she obtained her master’s degree from Purdue University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program. She then worked at an FQHC, focusing on Women’s Health and Prenatal care.
Having lived the majority of her life as a disadvantaged minority, Sylvia has first-hand experience of the obstacles and struggles minority families and women face. These personal experiences, along with academic and professional experiences, shaped her life-long ambition to give back to the community and help families and people in their times of need, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, income-level, religion, or sexual orientation.
Sylvia and her family are part of West Lafayette’s community and they enjoy walks in the trails, playing soccer, and traveling.