Marquita Brown

by Terry Watson | January 24th, 2020
Marquita Brown

Marquita Brown

Marquita Brown is a native of Petersburg, VA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in African American Studies and is also a Licensed Practical Nurse. She is also an entrepreneur, mentor, philanthropist and community advocate who believes in social justice.

She also believes in equality in healthcare and educating African Americans about their health and informing them about the importance of making healthy decisions. “It has always been embedded in my DNA to empower those whose voices are not heard. The voice that is least heard are black and brown people. I hope to change this phenomenon,” she says.

Marquita is also the owner of Apple for The Day, a health education and health consultation business. It is focused on the health of all but mostly concentrated on African American health. The point of receiving these services is to make sure people have a basic knowledge on their condition.

The name came about from the phrase “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Marquita shares that she wanted to give knowledge on health and instead of having someone retrieve an apple a day, she wanted to give them an apple for the day. “When it is time to go to a healthcare provider, people can hold an informed conversation with their caregiver. Hopefully, people will think more critically about their health and their care and collaborate with their healthcare provider and receive better results because of it,” she says.

She shares that God gave her this vision. “Unbeknownst to myself, I began my business as a child. I started out wanting to be a physician. I worked diligently from that time to attain this goal. As a teenager I began as a hospital volunteer formerly known as a Candy Striper. From there, I began volunteering at my pediatrician’s office and could see how the front office worked and the doctor allowed me to come in the room with him while he examined patients from time to time. In high school I was a part of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). I also took my first Black History course there. After graduating high school, I majored in Biology and concentrated in Pre-Medicine and was offered the chance to intern in a private practice. That experience changed my life,” she says.

She would become even more eager and interested in helping others. “There were so many African American patients who had surgery because the doctor said they needed it but did not understand why the procedure was necessary. I knew this because of their facial expressions. I started going into the room after the doctor finished speaking and asked if the patient understood what was being said. The patient replied ‘yes’ repeatedly but when I asked them to explain it to me, they could not. After seeing this for about the third time, my view on healthcare changed drastically” she says.

Soon she would obtain an Associates in Science and went on to another tract, nursing. Simultaneously, she had switched her major to African American Studies, minored in psychology, and concentrated in African American Health. Marquita says she knew African Americans were being neglected in the healthcare system and did not know why. She also knew African Americans did not trust the healthcare system.

During her last semester in college, she volunteered for a public health organization and participated in an internship educating African Americans in the community about their health. Once she graduated, she was able to work for that public health organization and realized this is what she wanted to do with her life.

The grant had ended in that position and she was no longer in that line of work. “I had to work in clinics/doctors’ offices where people were treated like numbers instead of people. Yet, again, I noticed where African Americans were not receiving the proper education they needed and deserved,” she says. She tried looking for positions in the non-profit sector and they were not available. So, in January of 2019, she stepped out on faith and created Apple for the Day.

Marquita has a genuine love for the African American community. She is aware of the need to bring about a change to a group of people without a voice. “I will be fully satisfied with my business once African Americans are on par and/or surpass the majority in this country in all areas of health,” she says. “As a society it would be substantial if we could remove social constructs such as racism, discrimination, low paying jobs, jobs without health benefits, lack of transportation, and food deserts. These social barriers affect health on levels that most people are not even aware of.”

She is also inspired by her parents. “My mother had no idea how much she was feeding my quest for knowledge. She groomed me for the healthcare field as a child. My father was a businessman. I watched him run a business and he gave me vision of not only being an African American businessman in the early 90s, but also a successful businessman. He also helped me while I was brainstorming for Apple for the Day. He was confident in my ability,” she shares.

Marquita is also on a mission to eradicate racism from the healthcare practice. “Without racism, health disparities would not exist. African Americans receive the least amount of healthcare and tend to only go to the hospital or doctor when it effects their work. By that time, it may already be too late. Even if African Americans do not wait until the last minute to receive care, the best care is not always given while being seen in a medical office or hospital; regardless of income or education status,” she says.

To learn more about what Marquita Brown and Apple for The Day is doing, please visit their website or contact her directly.

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