Senior Health Advocate
As a 4th generation San Francisco native of Bayview Hunter’s Point, Etecia has dedicated her career to empowering the underserved to be agents of change in their communities and healers for themselves and their lineage. Bayview Hunter’s Point is a historically Black community that today, is home to a federally designated superfund site, over 25 underground petroleum storage tanks, a sewage treatment plant, and more than 100 Brownfield sites; giving this neighborhood some of the highest rates of cancer, asthma, and Black infant mortality rates in the Bay Area. Environmental racism and socioeconomic inequities in Bayview Hunter’s Point has directly impacted Etecia’s family health history. Etecia firmly believes that through radicalizing the ways in which we care for our community and ourselves, Black and Indigenous people of color will not only survive, but flourish and heal our planet in the process.
In 2003, Etecia began volunteering with a community-based organization in Oakland and San Francisco to help host health fairs which provided access to mammograms, blood pressure and diabetes screenings to Oakland’s most vulnerable community members. Later in 2009, while in undergraduate school, Etecia became the Site Director of Farms to Grow Inc., a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California that has established a long-term commitment to helping small Black farmers grow their franchise in a sustainable organic way as well as combat hunger and advocate for food justice in marginalized communities.
As a reproductive justice advocate, researcher, and health educator Etecia has been facilitating trainings and workshops since 2011 on a variety of related topics. In 2013, Etecia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. Mary’s College of California. Etecia has over a decade of experience developing and managing community-based organizations, public health entities, and academic institutions.
In 2016, Etecia received her full spectrum doula certification from a community based organization in Oakland, California, Roots of Labor Birth Collective. Etecia believes this Black Indigenous led training changed her life, helping her to re-imagine advocacy. Etecia’s intentions as a birthworker is to re-indigenize birthing in the U.S. Through prenatal and postpartum health education, spiritual & emotional support, and advocacy in hospital settings Etecia helps empower Birthers in a way that provides a perpetual profound impact on generations of family and communities.
As a Full Spectrum Doula, Etecia is trained to support folks who are currently pregnant, birthing, and folks who recently gave birth. Etecia provides a sacred space for her clients to feel safe, be seen, be nourished, and rest. She waters the seeds of the future generations, creating personalized wellness plans that include indigenous technologies and practices that help to reduce unnecessary medical interventions and support clients on their spiritual journey to parenthood and through postpartum. Etecia has also been a certified Queer Preconception & Reproductive Health Counselor since 2016 and provides fertility doula support to people who are navigating their conception journey. She has experience supporting single by choice parents, trans Birthers, and queer families on their “trying to conceive” (TTC) journey.
In 2018, Etecia became the Population Health Program Manager at San Francisco Health Plan, monitoring the provision of cultural & linguistic services and helping to develop quality improvement initiatives that positively impact San Francisco’s Medi-Cal population. In 2020, Etecia supported the San Francisco Human Rights Commission helping to coordinate and lead the development of the Dream Keeper Initiative. The Dream Keeper Initiative is an approach to a sustainable reparations model which aims to end the cycle of poverty and close the educational achievement gap for Black families in San Francisco while ensuring that the city make specific investments in the Black community, including but not limited to: youth development, economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, arts and culture, and homeownership.
Etecia also sits on committees and boards both at San Francisco Department of Health & Alameda County Public Health Department addressing reproductive justice, cancer disparities, and timely access to perinatal care. Etecia is also an organizing member of the Doula Medicaid Project facilitated by the National Health Equity Law Firm helping to advocate for state legislation creating a Medi-Cal coverage of doula care program.
Etecia Burrell has significant research experience, specializing in qualitative in research relating to health disparities in communities of color. Using a feminist epistemology approach, Etecia brings a foundational understanding of social equity to her role, built through work as a community organizer. In 2019, Etecia worked with Principal Investigator, Dr. Biftu Mangesha in Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF on a research study, “Experiences with Racism and Discrimination; Colleagues as Allies and Teachers (ERADiCATe).” This is a qualitative investigation assessed the training experiences of Obstetrics and Gynecology resident physicians of color as well as physicians of color who have completed Obstetrics and Gynecology residency within the last 10 years with respect to racism, racial discrimination and allyship and how this has affected their post-residency careers. The results from this investigation helped to provide key information to understand the unique experiences of physicians of color within the Obstetrics and Gynecology specialty during residency training which could then be used to build more effective and narrative-driven support infrastructures within graduate medical education for underrepresented minorities. In 2020, Etecia began working with Principal Investigators in the University of California San Francisco Obstetrics & Gynecology department on a study to determine the impact of COVID-19 and the associated shelter-in-place guidelines on reproductive health care access, experiences, and use in the United States. This study also explored differences in treatment due to COVID-19 and access experience by race and geographic region. Etecia currently supports the work of the Center for Birth Justice, formerly the Preterm Birth Initiative, helping the organization to develop an infrastructure and framework that truly eradicates anti-Blackness in the healthcare system.
Most recently, in April of 2022, Etecia completed training with the Breastfeeding Cultural Outreach Taskforce and became a certified Peer Lactation Support Counselor.Back to Our Staff