Heath Focken

Program Coordinator



pronouns: he/him, they/them

Candid photo of Heath in conversation.
Heath sits in a soft chair, they are signing "aha" as if in conversation with someone off-camera.

Heath is Learner Advocate who leads the team in working with participants to empower them to self-advocate and navigate the American System, such as Healthcare, Educational, and more. Heath believes in community and breaking the barriers for those and take down the disparities that deaf folks face on day to day basis. They came from Family Tree Clinic after two years advocating for folks in Healthcare.

Heath is a certificated Community Health Worker since May 2022. Heath graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a concentration in Deaf Studies. In their free time, they enjoy spending with their zoo of a dog, two cats, fish, shrimps and aquatic snails. Heath is adventurous and loves to travel to new places and check the local nature scenes! They feel this helps them provide better services because nature is one of best ways to keep focus and tools to succeed and lift others to where they need to go.

Group of young people

Heath: “I became deaf at 18 months old after contacted Spinal Meningitis. I grew up using Signing Exact English, but started to develop ASL naturally as my own language. I met others like me at Nebraska Regional Programs when I was 8 years old, and was then able to pick up ASL. I got involved with the Deaf Community during college and have been a part of it since.” 

*Photo is of Heath with a group of 11 other kids (ages around 11-14) wearing matching t-shirts while in an outdoorsy setting.

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