In memory and recognition of Stella Kiarie's dedication to the improvement of public health practices in the state of Arizona, the Arizona Health Equity Conference Planning Committee is proud to continue her legacy and recognize public health innovators in our community. This annual award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated dedication to the public health industry while creating positive change for the greater community with their leadership.
About Stella Kiarie
Stella’s passion for public health led her to work on significant issues such as mental health, women’s and children’s health, adverse childhood experiences, and poverty for the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).
Stella started her career at the ADHS in February 2015 as the State Refugee Health Coordinator. In October 2017, Stella transitioned into the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease (BTCD) as the Refugee Health Program Manager. In this role, Stella provided subject matter expertise technical assistance to the Division of Public Health-Prevention Services; and coordinated prevention services efforts for the refugee/migrant community in Arizona.
In the last year of her life, Stella had engaged over 25 community partners to address care coordination through the establishment of the first-ever Collaborative Health Care model for the refugee/migrant community in Maricopa County. Her ultimate goal was to work with partners to establish a referral process that would ensure a seamless transition for refugee/migrant individuals to primary care services from initial intake screening.
Stella was an out-of-the-box thinker, and very innovative in her approach to public health. When transitioning up to the BTCD, Stella was tasked with identifying the top chronic conditions affecting the refugee/migrant communities. Stella identified a data set within ADHS, and worked with an intern in her program, to analyze data to identify the population's top chronic conditions.
In 2018, Stella Kiarie was the recipient (posthumous) of the 1st Annual of the Innovation for Health Equity award. The award was named in her honor in celebration of the collaborations, contributions, and exceptional work of our colleague and friend.