Chief Operations Officer
Selena E. Smith, a native Chicagoan, has over twenty years of experience in public health, health education, and administrative experience in pipeline programming, higher education, non-profit, and public sectors. She is the Chief Operations Officer for GRO Community – a Mental Health Organization that specializes in providing Mental Health Services and Support for Black Men by Black Men. Prior to GRO Community, she served as the Senior Associate Director for the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) Urban Health Program (UHP) Resource Center, which focused explicitly on these related initiatives. She is passionate about ensuring the support needed to educate underserved and underrepresented populations is present and available. She’s an advocate for access to quality health care, a student of socioeconomics and equity, and a seeker of equality in justice and among humanity. Selena has developed programming and shaped environments by acquiring and managing resources to help in areas most needed. She has actively pushed for increased access to health care for underserved families internationally, nationally, and locally. She has witnessed the environmental culture of Chicago change, where life spans are shortened, and longevity is denied because of gun violence and other preventable social issues.
Selena built her professional career at UIC, working tirelessly towards the mission of increasing the number of minority health professionals and practitioners who can serve within the identified health professional shortage areas. She has done this work without borders, allowing herself to impact places and spaces nationally. She has fostered relationships and established partnerships across communities, educating and steering people toward making informed, educated, health-conscious decisions.