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Where Are They Now?: Emily Wozniak

Coronado High School
Class of 2007


After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno our A Step Above, Emily found her passion in public health. Drawn to an ability to help the world around her and educate the people in her current community about cancer screening and proactive health, she stayed true to her goals in high school to appreciate the inner worth of others. She lives with her significant other and their pup, Lila in Tempe but still values what she got in her home community.

Emily Wozniak






Where are you currently living?

I currently reside in Tempe, Arizona.

What field are you working in and how did you end up doing what you’re doing?

I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) with a Master of Public Health degree in May 2013. I began work in July with the Arizona Department of Health Services in Phoenix as a Program Operations Manager for two cancer screening programs. Our programs are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and receive support from the State of Arizona to provide breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings to uninsured, low income Arizonans. Some of the services we provide include free mammograms, Pap tests, and colonoscopies. In addition, I link women recently diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer with a statewide treatment program that covers their cancer treatment services.   

I became interested in the field of public health during my undergraduate studies at UNR where I developed a passion of promoting healthy living on a large scale to communities.  Public health focuses on preventing disease within populations by encouraging actions like vaccinations, nutritious diets, exercising, and of course, receiving timely screenings for cancer. Too many cancer diagnoses are late stage and could have been prevented by a simple screening test. I am proud to say I contribute every day to the fight against cancer by providing access to cancer screenings and offering cancer treatment support for people who otherwise could not afford it.

What achievements/recognitions are you most proud of since graduation? Since graduating from Coronado High School in 2007, I am most proud of being recognized as “MPH Student of the Year” by the faculty within my graduate program at UNR. It was a great honor to be selected by the professors in the School of Community Health Sciences to receive this award.

Are you married? Children? Pets?

I live in Tempe with my significant other of seven years, Jon, and our black Lab, Lila. Jon is also a Coronado High School alumni and we actually met during our junior year in our Anatomy and Physiology class!

How did growing up in Henderson/Las Vegas have an impact on the person you are today?  

Through my academic background and experience as a public health professional, I have learned just how influential an individual’s neighborhood and environment has on their health. I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up in Henderson and having access to incredible parks, libraries, community centers, schools, and neighborhood events and programs as a child and young adult. I believe my current values, such as a continuous desire to learn, a passion to promote health and well-being for others, and a drive to reduce health disparities in communities, arose from the supportive and nurturing environment I grew up in. I am thankful to my family, friends, teachers, and athletic coaches from Henderson for instilling those values and allowing me unlimited opportunities to pursue my interests.

Has your outlook on life and/or work changed since high school? If so, how?

In high school I was very aware that I wanted to have an influence on the world around me in a positive way. Like many other high school students, I was unsure at the time of how exactly I could integrate my numerous interests and somehow focus them into having a positive impact on others. Entering into the field of public health has allowed me to achieve this by encouraging me to utilize the knowledge and skills I obtained at UNR into a career that is challenging and extremely rewarding. 

How did you feel when you were featured as A Step Above and what kind of feedback did you receive?

It was a great honor to be featured in “A Step Above” as a high school senior. I feel that the feature was a wonderful culmination of my experience at Coronado High School and was an affirmation of my hard work and dedication to academics, extracurricular activities, and the community.

Favorite Quote to Live By:

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”

– Leo Rosten

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