Q&A: Shannon Wilson


Shannon Wilson.

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Shannon Wilson is a passionate lifelong learner of health care equity for vulnerable populations.

She works endless hours at the systems and community level to improve health care delivery.

Wilson was the state of Michigan’s first health disparities epidemiologist.

She is the executive director of the nonprofit Grand Rapids African American Health Institute.

She also serves as adjunct faculty for Grand Valley State University and on-call faculty for the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Biggest career break?

Grand Rapids African American Health Institute

Proudest moment?

Birth of child

Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Success will not always feel successful.”

How did you make your first dollar?


Most-treasured possession?


Dream job?

VP of a major philanthropic organization

If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?

Eliminate student debt immediately

Last book you’ve read?

“Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg

Last thing you Googled?

Vacation resorts

Your worst habit?

Misplacing car keys

To unwind, I like to . . . ?


Dream vacation?


Favorite food?

Shrimp and grits

Person you most admire?

Camara Jones 

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