Born in Ethiopia, Laka Mitiku Negassa Negassa immigrated to the United States after completing her senior year of high school. Negassa planned to study medicine. However, in January 2013, she was in an accident that caused her to sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with organ lacerations and broken bones which required major medical interventions. The recovery took nearly two years and while recovering, Negassa personally experienced the health disparities and healthcare inequities often encountered by underrepresented groups: immigrants, women, people of color, and people with disabilities.
Negassa is currently the Microsoft Health Policy Fellow at the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF). Working as an integral member of NMQF’s policy team, she is contributing by researching current health policy issues, cultivating and maintaining relationships with key policy stakeholders in the public and private sectors working with leaders in health policy, both at NMQF as well as outside. She was previously a Policy Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for two summers.
Negassa is delighted that she is now working in the health policy space and has started sharing her academic-based knowledge and lived experience on topics relating to disability inclusion and advocacy, especially equity in health care.