Meet Eunice Oladeji, Tobacco Prevention Public Health Educator at The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (

Tell us a little about your business. – Through our partnership with the Tobacco Free Lancaster County Coalition ( and collaborations with diverse community partners, we aim to educate every member of the community about the dangers associated with tobacco use and exposure, reduce youth initiation and offer effective resources for quitting and strive to transform Lancaster County into a community free from tobacco.

How did you get started in the business? – My work in clinical medicine, especially as an emergency care specialist, increased my passion for preventive public health as I attended to and managed several cases of chronic health conditions presenting with complications that were attributable to inadequate health literacy, poor health-seeking behavior and inadequate health education.

This informed my decision to get a Master of Public Health. Following this, I worked as a Community Outreach Specialist and Research Assistant with the Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health. This gave me the needed initial opportunity to get into the public health space and work directly with the community within the community and outside the walls of a medical center.

I then worked as an environmental health educator with a focus on providing the community with education and resources surrounding proper waste management and how it affects individual and community health. This provided the bridge to my current role, an opportunity to educate people and raise awareness about the health and environmental impacts of tobacco use – a risk factor for many chronic health conditions.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – While public health aims to promote and protect the public’s health, I have learned that it also means working with the people despite their hesitations, doubts, biases, misinformed conclusions and sometimes their resistance to change. This means that no matter how beneficial our intents in the tobacco prevention program and/or in other public health related programs are to the target population, we should be mindful of people’s autonomy and the need to get to that point where they are ready and willing to change/take up the desired positive behavior. The clash of individual autonomy with the general safety and wellbeing of the community/public is an unending challenge in our profession. We are tasked with the job of finding the middle ground that works for the benefit of all.

Tell us a little about your family. – My husband and I currently parent a 15-month-old Border Collie Mix with a lot of energy and personality.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Get comfortable with a book or movie.

Who inspires you? – I draw inspiration from other public health practitioners who are doing amazing work in their communities. I also look at the fictional worlds from movies and books to figure out what barriers and challenges there are that make those seemingly ‘perfect’ scenes difficult to repeat in the real world.

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – (402) 441-4108 | |