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Zakiya has lived in Massachusetts for most of her 60+ years, and is currently a recovery coach — completing additional training on addiction — to help others in her community on the path to health and wellness. Her greatest joys in life include providing a meal for her loved ones, singing and dancing — either alone or with others. A vocal advocate for single-payer healthcare, alternative medicine and for creating more accessible language for discussing health and medicine, Zakiya envisions a healthcare system grounded in mutual respect and deep partnerships.

At her local community health center, Zakiya’s most recent primary care physician embodied the type of patient-provider relationship Zakiya believes that everyone deserves. Her PCP took the time to understand how she viewed health, her own unique health history and medication preferences. They worked together to find solutions — even when that meant exploring non-traditional options.

Zakiya’s passion for personalized healthcare led her to the Patient Advisory Council, after being introduced by another member. She hopes that through her work with Health Leads she can weave her many ideas to improve healthcare into meaningful changes in healthcare delivery — from incorporating health coaches to reducing the availability of sugary foods in hospitals and clinics.

Location: Dorchester, MA