Women to Watch: Jasmine Zapata


By Rachel Werner

DR. JASMINE ZAPATA confronts life’s fragility each day. As a pediatric resident at UW Health American Family Children’s Hospital, Zapata treats premature infants and helps parents cope with the trauma of watching their babies struggle to survive—and for some—accept a crushing loss.

An unexpected death is a pain Zapata understands; her younger brother died from unexplained medical causes in 2007. “Now, his life continues to inspire much of the empowerment work I do in spreading the message of hope, strength and the power to overcome.”

Zapata fulfills her passionate commitment to improving the health outcomes of minority groups as a health and wellness liaison at the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development and leading teen workshops through the Foundation for Black Women’s Health. She also gives back to the community as Madison Elite Track Club’s team physician and assistant coach, codirector of the Madison Inspirational Youth Choir and as co-founder of Brown Girl, Green Money—a financial literacy group for women of color with a weekly column in the Madison Times. Later this year, the group will launch a series of economic empowerment workshops with Park Bank.

Zapata’s is a heartfelt commitment to helping others, as she says, “hang on to embrace a brighter day.” She has a book offer on the table to share her own story of being mom to a preemie, and this summer begins a two-year medical fellowship in preventive medicine— both new and bigger ways for her to protect and promote the wellbeing of others in the years ahead.

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