Bernice McCoy (she/her/hers)
As a Public Health Practitioner and Medical Anthropologist, I have spent most of my professional career practicing and implementing harm reduction strategies, but never knew it. I’ve advocated and managed programs to reduce and prevent disease risk and improve health outcomes for underserved individuals and minorities in the Tampa Bay Area for over a decade. However, it was not until I was brought on to the IDEA Exchange Tampa team in 2021, that everything 'clicked'. Since then, I have never looked back.
For me, Harm Reduction encompasses all the public health strategies we know, but most importantly, it centers the lived experiences of those who are struggling with substance use within them. Harm reduction empowers others and provides the agency and space for individuals with a choice: to live healthy, self-directed and purpose-filled lives. I’m grateful to all those I have crossed paths with and will cross paths with at IDEA Exchange Tampa and our other Tampa General programs. I hope to continue to serve and advocate for you all in the many years to come and provide you with the guidance, resources and services to help you make choices and incremental changes to live your best lives!