Simone Snead

School: College of Public Health
Degree: BS, public health, 2016
Hometown: Glenside, Pennsylvania

The miracles of reproduction have always fascinated Simone Snead, CPH ’16. But after eye-opening experiences during her undergraduate studies at Temple, Snead saw firsthand troubling disparities in outcomes for pregnant women. Now, she works toward making healthcare more equitable at the March of Dimes. 

An instinct for advocacy 

Snead has always had a nurturing instinct. As a high schooler in suburban Montgomery County, Snead did a lot of activities typical of teenagers, including studying, cheerleading, track and field, and student clubs.  

But in her spare time, Snead crossed into territory not typical for teenagers based on her interest in caring for others. She’d explore YouTube for maternity videos, searching for something useful that could help a loved one who was expecting.  

“I think I’ve always been a nurturer. I’ve always taken care of friends and family members who were pregnant to see what they needed and how I could help,” Snead said.  

When a favorite teacher’s daughter was diagnosed with lupus, a serious autoimmune disease, Snead volunteered to help raise awareness, and says she suddenly realized that her nurturing instinct could become something greater. 

“That was the first time I advocated for something that I was really passionate about, and I think that transformed my experience,” Snead said. 

Temple transition 

Snead says choosing Temple for undergrad was easy. Her father is an alum and Snead’s mother, Katerra Jenerette Snead, is a student recruitment specialist at Temple’s School of Podiatric Medicine. The university’s location and affordability were major selling points. 

After taking science courses and attending a College of Public Health information session with a friend, she never looked back.  

“I found I could marry my love for maternal and child health with public health and advocacy,” Snead said. 

In the classroom, Temple’s public health curriculum helped her establish a solid foundation in the field, and she particularly enjoyed classes taught by Michelle Scarpulla, professor of social and behavioral sciences. But it was volunteering and internship experiences, including one with the Early Head Start program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, that allowed Snead to get life-changing, hands-on experiences in caring for young and expecting Philadelphians. 

Simone Snead smiles for a photo.
Simone Snead poses for a photo in the streets of Philadelphia.

“The entire public health program at Temple created such an amazing foundation and platform for my continued success. I honestly go back to a lot of what I learned as an undergrad, and it really helps me.”

–Simone Snead
Manager, mission programs

A passion for justice 

After graduating from Temple, Snead obtained a master of public health from the University of Pennsylvania, then worked for the city of Philadelphia’s Department of Health. There, she focused on maternity programs, helping to coordinate stakeholders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors to help lower inequities in reproductive outcomes in the city.  

After two years, she left city government to become manager for mission programs at the nonprofit March of Dimes, pursuing similar work, but on a national scale. 

“The work is similar. There are so many who are working to strengthen maternal health outcomes, but efforts aren’t coordinated,” Snead said. “There’s duplication of services. We will have greater impact if we are collaborating with each other.” 

Snead grounds her approach to her work in her lived experience. “It’s very personal to me,” Snead said. “I am a Black woman … some things that happen but shouldn’t happen are health professionals not listening to families or explaining things thoroughly.”