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Kevin Pan: “There is no health equity without educational equity”

When our work is grounded in our identity as equity-minded leaders, we can advance educational equity while serving in many kinds of roles. 

That’s the philosophy Kevin Pan lives every day as he fights for changes in access to education through his work supporting rising scholars who seek to advance equity in both health care and education.

“I knew my career interests would eventually take me outside of the classroom, but it was not clear to me how I could continue to pursue educational equity. 

“LEE opportunities like the Community Organizing Fellowship have supported me in bridging my passions in health care and education, and helped me expand my passion for pursuing a role in advancing educational equity following TFA,” he shares.

The Community Organizing Fellowship is a paid, full-time opportunity to partner with a high-impact community organizing network or organization. Over four to six months, fellows get the experience they need to prepare for a position in organizing.

Today, Kevin manages the Brancati Community Health Fellowship, a partnership between Johns Hopkins and the MERIT Health Leadership Academy, aimed at increasing the number of health care professionals that represent the communities they serve. Like many participants in the Community Organizing Fellowship, he was offered the position as a continuation of his work as a fellow. 

“I value my Community Organizing Fellowship experience because it provided me with the skills and information to create systemic change. It showed me that action can lead to progress,” he says. 

Now, he credits his current role for helping him understand that health care equity can only be achieved through educational equity. That mission will remain central to his career.

“I entered this role knowing I would eventually be applying to medical school but unsure of how I could push for educational equity while practicing medicine. 

“I want to be a family medicine physician and be viewed as a community member who happens to be a physician. Ninety percent of health care occurs outside the four walls of a doctor's office. Being an effective primary care physician will require me to have an understanding of the unique health care challenges that impact the communities around me.

“My experience as a fellow gave me the skills to increase health care access for underserved communities and improve outcomes for those communities.

“While my fellowship is complete, I am still at my placement site working with the future health care professionals of this country. Every time I get to work with one of my scholars, I'm inspired by their drive and devotion to creating an equitable and healthy society in Baltimore.”

To join the next cohort of Community Organizing Fellows and gain hands-on experience building power within communities making change on the ground, apply by February 28.