Release Date: 
Wednesday, October 26, 2022

HFC welcomes Dr. Kenetra C. Young, who finds joy in teaching public health

A headshot of Kenetra Young.

HFC public health instructor and public health program director Dr. Kenetra C. Young went into this field because she wanted to learn the science of preventing diseases and improving lives through education and research.

“I was always interested in why people became ill and wondered what could be done to prevent these problems within communities. I was interested in disease prevention rather than just treatment of a health aliment,” she explained.

First-generation college student

Born on the east side of Detroit, Young is the eldest of two daughters. A single mom, she lives in Taylor with her two teenagers. Young graduated from Cass Technical High School. She is a first-generation college student who started her educational journey at Michigan State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in medical technology.

She went on to earn an MBA with a specialization in health care management from the University of Phoenix. She is also a 2-time alumna of Walden University, where she earned her master’s degree in public health with a specialization in community health and a doctoral degree in public health with a specialization in epidemiology.

“I obtained several FEMA certificates and have been on the front lines responding to critical incidents and disasters within both hospital and public health settings,” she said. “A proud moment was receiving the 2018 Hometown Health Hero Award from the State of Michigan for my leadership and guidance during the hepatitis A outbreak response efforts. I also co-led COVID-19 response activities, onboarded, and trained partners to respond effectively during the pandemic.”

15 years of college teaching

Young worked as a laboratory scientist at the Detroit Medical Center for seven years before returning to academics to earn her advanced degrees. She has also worked both as an infection preventionist at the Henry Ford Health System and a communicable disease manager at the Detroit Health Department for five years each. She worked as an infectious disease/public health epidemiologist for five years, and a public health manager for one year. She has a total of 22 years of experience in the health sciences.

Young has been teaching for 15 years. She became interested in teaching when she started training and educating new laboratory scientists when they were interning. She was selected on a regular basis to be the lead trainer within the department for new staff and the educator for new students.

“I received great feedback and recognition for these efforts and realized that I should explore teaching at the college level,” said Young. “I started teaching part-time in 2007 while working full-time. I started my teaching career at Baker College. I taught health science courses for more than 11 years and later transitioned to teaching graduate level public health courses online at Southern New Hampshire University.”

Joy in different types of teaching

“I was attracted to the mission of HFC and the community aspects of the College,” she said.

Young reports to the Dean of the HFC School of Health and Human Services Dr. Cyndi Scheuer. This semester, Young is teaching:

“The most challenging aspect has been learning the platform HFC has for teaching and the dynamics of the College,” said Young. “This is also the best part of the job, because I am a lifelong learner. I love being back in front of a classroom teaching, as well as interacting online with students within the same semester – it’s joyful.”