Victoria Baptiste, BSN, RN, is Henrietta Lacks’ great-granddaughter. Inspired by her great-grandfather David "Day" Lacks and his wife Henrietta “Hennie" Lacks, Victoria became a Registered Nurse to ensure that all patients are treated with respect and dignity. She is committed to educating and empowering patients to understand their care.
As a passionate patient advocate who has participated in and supported the management of clinical trials, Victoria travels the world speaking on Henrietta Lacks’ legacy, her family's experience in biomedical research, clinical trial diversity, informed consent, patient-centered care, medical ethics, health equity, social justice, and building trust in this modern era of precision medicine. In 2016, Victoria was proud to represent The Lacks Family at the historic passing of the U.S. Congressional Resolution Recognizing the Life and Legacy of Henrietta Lacks in honor of Women’s History Month.
Today, Victoria serves on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic working in the communities hit hardest by the compounded crisis as the charge nurse of a chronic dialysis center and an acute nurse at various Baltimore City hospital dialysis centers. She brings this insight to her role as a Senior Advisor to the recently launched, Lacks Family-led “HELA UNITE” initiative, aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine confidence and equity. Victoria also leads in the development of HELA100: The Henrietta Lacks Initiative's HPV and Cervical Cancer projects aimed at educating youth, women, families and health care provided to end disparities.
Victoria began her journey in the medical field as a Medical Assistant and started her nursing studies at Baltimore City Community College. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University. Victoria aims to advance her nursing career by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to continue improving the quality of patients’ lives, communities, and healthcare institutions. She is committed to empowering the next generation of health care leaders and serves as a member of the Henrietta Lacks Dunbar Health Science Scholarship committee. Victoria, ever the avid reader also serves on the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee's Literature - Fiction Panel.
As a proud “Lacks woman,” Victoria is a wife and mother of two, living and working in Baltimore County, Maryland - serving the very community her great-grandmother Henrietta Lacks raised her children.
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