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Dr. Cora Muñoz, External Recipient

Dr. Cora Muñoz is a professor emeritus and adjunct professor at Capital University. She is an author, academic scholar, and consultant, national and international speaker, Fulbright Scholar, diversity trainer, health advocate and a community worker. She has served for many years as the Governor appointed Commissioner of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health. She is the President of the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Advisory Council and has served as Chairperson of the Health committee. Currently she is the Chairperson of the Asian Festival Corporation Board of Directors and member of the Health and Wellness committee in which she served as chairperson for many years since 1995. She has given time and talent to the larger community as an advocate for health and wellness. Her participation as a board member of various organizations in the past and in the present attest to her exceptional service to the community at large.She also has served in various boards/and advisory groups related to health and mental health such as the Multiethnic Advocacy for Cultural Competence/ODMH research advisory; Mental Health Board of America; Lutheran Social Services, Breathing Association of Ohio; and Advisory to Minority Health at Columbus Public Health. Dr. Munoz has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contribution to the nursing profession, leadership, and minority health and community health advocacy. She is the founder of the Philippine Nurses Association of Indiana and the Philippine Nurses Association of Central Ohio. As a nurse she is involved in numerous projects such as a five year Komen funded Breast Health Screenings and Education program for Asian Women; she is also part of the BFree Columbus CDC funded project through OAAHC training Community Health Advocates in the Asian and African communities. She is a master trainer for the
Stanford curriculum for Chronic Disease Self-Management and has done numerous trainings and workshops for the Asian community. She is a certified trainer for Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competency and a certified Mental Health First Aid from ADAMH of Franklin County.

Dr. Lauren Russo, Internal Recipient

Dr. Lauren Russo grew up in Colorado with loving parents and two sisters. At a young age, her parents instilled values that would carry her through life. Dr. Russo moved to Ohio in 2001 to start a retail management career with a local design and furniture company.

After having a child with cerebral palsy, Dr. Russo wanted to join the healthcare field to focus on helping children and adults like her son. She worked in various healthcare settings as a registered nurse, focusing on complex care patients at Nationwide Children’s hospital. In 2018, Dr. Russo graduated from Chamberlain University with her master’s degree as a Nurse Practitioner and in 2020 with her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. Dr. Russo joined PrimaryOne Heath in 2019 and has built a diverse patient population.

Dr. Russo has five wonderful children, a devoted husband, supportive parents, sisters, and friends. She has a great passion for treating patients with drug and alcohol addictions and she has a strong compassion for the homeless population. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Russo is often seen passing out socks, t-shirts, and coats to homeless men and women. She also offers her healthcare services to any homeless person needing care.

Cierra Johnson, Host

Cierra Johnson is an anchor and reporter with NBC4.

Central Ohio is home for Cierra. She attended Gahanna Lincoln High School, where she was an active member of WGLH, the school’s nationally recognized student television program. After graduating from Gahanna, Cierra attended Ohio University where she studied broadcast journalism in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

She joined NBC4 after working at KNTV in San Francisco. While there, she was a morning reporter and anchor for various newscasts. Cierra previously worked at WBNS as the station’s first ever multimedia journalist. As the first in the role, Cierra shot and edited video as well as reporting stories on a daily basis. She has also worked as a reporter and anchor at WKBW in Buffalo, New York, and as a participant in the Scripps Apprentice Program at WCPO in Cincinnati.