As we continue sharing stories of individuals impacting Black Health and Wellness in our community, we are excited to introduce two driven, caring sisters.
Meet Jada and Jordan Ashford, Urban Fellows at Christ Health Center.
Jada and Jordan are twins who both graduated with distinction of high academic achievement from Auburn University in May of 2021 with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. While applying for medical school, they are participating in the Urban Fellows Program at Christ Health Center in Woodlawn.
Christ Health Center created the Urban Fellows Program to provide hands-on learning opportunities to students who are in a gap year before medical school. Urban Fellows gain experience in direct patient care as medical assistants, while contributing to research projects focused on improving health outcomes for their patients.
Jada’s and Jordan’s father and grandfather served as in inspiration in their decision to pursue medicine. Their father, Rowell S. Ashford II, is an OB/GYN in Birmingham, and their grandfather, Rowell S. Ashford, is a retired OB/GYN. When their grandfather began practicing medicine, he faced hardships and obstacles due to many hospitals not granting privileges for African American physicians. He was eventually connected with Cooper Green Mercy Health Services where he was given privileges to begin his practice.
Throughout his career, Dr. Ashford worked to integrate Birmingham’s medical community. He trained over two generations of OB/GYN residents at The University of Alabama at Birmingham who are now practicing physicians. He was also recognized as one of the best Gynecologic surgeons in Birmingham. In 2014 he was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame and was distinguished as an Alabama Legend by the Alabama Section of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Jada and Jordan are incredible reflections of their grandfather’s legacy and are humbled and grateful to follow in his example.
Jordan is interested in a career in Pediatrics and is completing her fellowship with the Pediatrics Department. Working at Christ Health Center has been a blessing for her, and she plans to work in an underserved area when she completes medical school. Jordan has been able to serve as an inspiration to her patients and has had to joy of seeing an African American child’s face light up when they proudly told their mother they wanted to be a doctor one day too.
Jada is interested in a career in Family Medicine. Her fellowship began working with Family Medicine Residents and has now transitioned to working with a Physician Assistant who mainly provides care for adults. Her fellowship has been a great learning experience in providing servant leadership through medicine. Even if it's only a 20-minute visit, patients know they are going to see a provider and medical assistant who care about them and want to listen to their needs. Her experiences have taught her to be more aware of how environmental and social factors affect patient health outcomes.
Jada and Jordan have both been accepted to medical school and will begin this Fall. Their careers will be framed by the prospective and knowledge from their fellowship in Woodlawn. They both strive to be patient and empathetic providers with a heart for service, seeing the whole person, and meeting all their needs. They are passionate about working in areas that are underserved to ensure everyone has access to the highest quality medical care.
Photo credit: @saravanheckephotography