Flojaune “Dr. Flo” Cofer is a dedicated public health advocate and policy expert with a profound commitment to community well-being and equitable systems. Raised in an environment shaped by two middle school teachers, her upbringing instilled in her a love for literature, arts, sports, and community service, while emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and the empowerment of her voice.
Dr. Flo’s journey in public health and policy advocacy began as a response to a personal tragedy – the loss of her father to preventable causes. Motivated by this experience, she pursued higher education, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Women’s Studies from Spelman College, followed by a Master’s in Public Health and a Doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Her academic focus centered on indigenous reproductive health and aging women’s health, equipping her with the tools to protect and serve communities.
In her early career, Dr. Flo contributed significantly to California’s public health sector as a California Epidemiologic Investigation Service Fellow. Later, she collaborated with the University of California, San Francisco, focusing on women’s preventive health initiatives. Her advocacy extended beyond individual health to encompass broader policy objectives, promoting access to preventive services, free wellness visits, maternity care coverage, breast pumps, and birth control for women.
Transitioning to Public Health Advocates, Dr. Flo embraced a role in policy advocacy, challenging inequitable structures and envisioning transformative solutions. Over six years with the organization, she played a pivotal role in passing state and local policies related to marijuana legalization, community safety, nutrition, diabetes prevention, and racial equity.
Dr. Flo’s personal experiences, including caring for family members with chronic diseases and navigating health systems, offer her a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities within our systems. She has actively engaged with issues of affordable housing, accessibility of services, and the complexities of addressing homelessness.
Beyond her professional roles, Dr. Flo has been a vocal advocate for racial justice, participating in peaceful protests against racism and police violence. Her experiences engaging with City Hall have highlighted the need for responsive governance and meaningful community input, prompting her desire to be a visionary leader for Sacramento.