Charisse Braxton: Healthcare Hero and Community Changer
Charisse Braxton, 51, is the Senior Director of Clinical Operations for Kaiser Permanente Georgia. She’s lived in Atlanta nearly half her life, calling Powder Springs home. Her favorite part of being over 40 is waking up every morning knowing she has the chance to positively impact someone’s life as a “W.O.W.” As a Woman of Wisdom, her experience and knowledge allows her to influence, encourage and support younger women and other young people in their careers. She revels in the fact that she was created for that exact purpose.
What impact do you hope to leave on the world?
I want to be a part of the movement that ensures every American has access to basic healthcare. True healthcare is more than just being free of physical ailments. Total wellness includes mind, body and spirit. It ensures that social determinants of health do not impede leading a healthy productive life.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Be careful not to label yourself as a victim. The minute you think you’re a victim, you give control over to someone else. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I try to stick with what I know—that it gets better with time.
What is the best part of growing older?
We tend to overthink things when we’re younger, causing us to be more reactive and emotional in our responses. As you mature, you begin to have different perspectives on life’s situations. You don’t sweat the small stuff like you used to.
What people have influenced your life most?
The women in my life: My grandmothers and my aunts. My grandmothers were nurturers and caregivers for our family and for the community. My aunts were women of strength, the epitome of confidence and commanded respect within the family and their community. Today, at 81, my mother is also still my biggest cheerleader.
What is your favorite way to give back to your community and what inspired you to do this work?
I am passionate about meeting the needs of my community. As last year’s Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman, I coordinated and led several healthcare focused initiatives to address social determinants of health, including fresh food markets at the KP Southwood location, coordinating, planning and executing the first Valor Awards in Clayton County to honor first responders and working with local government leaders to improve Clayton County as a premier place to work, live, learn and play.