Dr. Rebekah Fenton is the proud daughter of two first-generation college students and healthcare providers, to whom she credits her passion for education and medicine. Her father is a general pediatrician and mother is a nursing professor. Growing up, she heard her dad share stories about navigating conversations and confidentiality between adolescents and their parents in his office. She decided during her own adolescence that she wanted to work with teens and learned about the field of adolescent medicine in college through her first research mentor.
Her passion for serving marginalized communities began at an early age. During her first service trip to South Africa at the age of 10, she witnessed significant healthcare access challenges, especially for HIV prevention and care. Motivated by the racial inequities she saw in educational and healthcare outcomes in the US, she lead mentoring initiatives in high school and college and committed to a career in medicine. In medical school, she discovered storytelling to educate peers and uplift communities.
Her educational pursuits have taken her all over the country: from her upbringing in Sacramento, CA and her undergraduate degree in Human Biology at Stanford University, to her medical school training at the University of Pennsylvania and pediatric residency at Seattle Children’s Hospital as part of the Resident Education and Advocacy for Child Health track. She completed an adolescent medicine fellowship at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and a master of public health with a concentration in Community Health Research at Northwestern University. She now works at a federally-qualified health center in Chicago serving as a primary care provider and adolescent medicine consultant in a clinic and school-based health center.
Dr. Fenton’s advocacy efforts include vastly different directions, such as a school-based substance use prevention curriculum in Eastern Washington, the police-free school movement in Chicago, and blogs and presentations about communication tips for healthcare providers. She gives invited presentations from local to international audiences and her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes, Newsweek, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and several blogs. She has made multiple media appearances commenting on local and national stories. As she “follows her nose” to the topics that inspire her, she always centers those most in need and her love for Black people.