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Meet the Oregon Health Authority VISTA Team!

Welcome 19 public health professionals who have joined the Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps VISTA team from around the country. In a year of national service they will help build Oregon's capacity to reduce poverty and improve public health.

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Inga Suneson .jpg Inga Suneson joined the team as one of the Fall 2019 VISTA Leaders! While originally from Texas, Inga has lived in Oregon since 2009. She attended the University of Oregon and graduated from the Clark Honors College with a bachelor’s degree in planning, public policy, and management in 2013. Inga went on to the Spring 2014 OHA VISTA Team, serving with Multnomah County Health Department and working on tobacco prevention and accreditation where she did outreach and education on e-cigarettes. After her VISTA year, Inga worked for three and a half years at Marion County Public Health as the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program coordinator passing policies and working with communities to prevent tobacco use. She is happy to be back with OHA VISTA team as the fall VISTA Leader. Next, she plans on going to graduate school for a Master of Public Health degree. In her spare time, she likes to watch Texas Rangers baseball and doodling on any available surfaces.
Charlotte Smith Charlotte Smith joins our team as one of the Fall 2019 VISTA Leaders! She received her bachelor’s degree in health education from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Charlotte spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Pima County Health Department in Tucson, Arizona as a program assistant for their Prevention Services team. She worked on opioid misuse prevention, STD prevention and education on the county's teen mobile clinic, and partnership building for the health department's teen pregnancy prevention program, as well as running the health department's Healthy Pima initiative social media. After this year of national service, Charlotte hopes to work at the state or local government level to evaluate health education and improve community wellness. A fun fact about Charlotte is that she swam competitively for 13 years!

Welcome the Fall 2019-2020 Oregon Health Authority VISTA Team

Alex Chau is originally from Portland and is serving as the Oregon Rural Healthcare Access VISTA in the same city. He received his B.S. in Biology from Portland State University and his future goal is to become a doctor to serve the needs of underserved communities. He volunteered with the Casey Eye Institute’s Mobile Clinic to provide eye screenings to rural and underserved communities in Oregon. He also volunteered with the local nonprofit youth organization called Chess for Success to develop critical thinking skills in young kids through mastery of chess. An interesting fact about Alex is that he spent several months in Peru and Bolivia climbing 5000+ meter peaks!
Originally from Henderson, Nevada, Allison Mora joins us as the Familias en Acción Development and Communications VISTA in Portland. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health with a minor in Global Studies from Portland State University. Her studies focused on intersectionality, social justice, and decolonizing methodologies. She has interned with Cascades AIDS Project to work on designing and implementing a grant-funded project that aims to understand cervical cancer screening disparities amongst the LGBTQ+ population in Portland. She hopes to receive her MPH in Public Health Policy and Management and apply that knowledge to work with marginalized communities to foster respect and accountability between institutions and communities as well as help communities strive towards sustainability, sovereignty, and cultural revitalization. A cool fact about Allison is that she has varying levels of fluency in five languages!

Ashley Hines is coming to the OHA VISTA team from Baltimore to serve as the Waterfall Community Health Center Social Determinants of Health VISTA in North Bend. Ashley attended Towson University and received a degree in Biology and Community Health Education. Ashley has worked in the medical field, and after her VISTA year would like to pursue nursing and continue community health work. An interesting fact about Ashley is that she wants to skydive but is afraid of heights!
Carys Fritz rejoins our team as the North Central Public Health Promotion VISTA! Previously, she served with Lines for Life as their Communications VISTA, where she developed effective communication strategies that connected economically disadvantaged individuals with mental health support and services. Prior to her AmeriCorps service, Carys studied public relations at Illinois State University and volunteered with World Merit, a non-governmental organization focused on international affairs and global health. After this year of national service, Carys plans to continue her education in communications and public health in graduate school. A fun fact about Carys is that she is a big fan of theater, and she acted in her first commercial during her first year of service.
Judy Tan moved to Portland from El Monte, California, to serve with Multnomah County as their Healthy Homes and Communities VISTA. Judy attended Georgetown University to study human science, and used her education to volunteer for One Tent Health in Washington, DC to perform HIV screening exams throughout the community. After graduating, Judy served as the Behavioral Health VISTA for Fond du Lac Band. Her biggest accomplishment from her first year of national service was community programming to combat the opioid epidemic in Lake Superior Chippewa. After serving as a VISTA on our team, Judy plans to pursue a master’s in public health. In her free time, Judy is an avid “professional amateur cook”!
Kate Broadwell is coming from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to serve as the Oregon Rural Healthcare Outreach VISTA in Portland. She received her degree in Global Studies from the University of North Carolina. She has spent the last few years teaching English in places like Northeastern France and La Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean. Kate hopes to one day earn a master’s in public health and is hoping this year in VISTA will help her to learn how to apply her passions of community health, food justice, and sustainability in the real world. A fun fact about Kate is that she once did a road trip around Iceland in a camper van!
Sticking with our team for his second year of national service is Michael Burton! He serves with Coos Health and Wellness as the Coos County Preparedness and Medical Reserve Corps VISTA. Before joining our team, Michael graduated with a degree in communication studies and population health management from Oregon Tech, where he gained experience working with youth at the local YMCA and elementary school. This past year, Michael led multiple community-wide preparedness exercises and trainings. He also created evacuation flyers to be used in the event of a disaster. After this year of service, Michael hopes to attend graduate school, get a full-time position with Coos Health and Wellness, and publish a novel!
Originally from Winston, Oregon, Niki Morales is the Jefferson County Public Health Accreditation VISTA in Madras. She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Oregon State University with a focus on Health Promotion and Health Behavior. She worked for the Oregon State University’s Extension Service as a Nutrition Education Program Assistant where she taught nutrition in elementary schools. She also interned as an assistant teacher with the Corvallis Environmental Center at their nature day camps. Her future goal is to receive her graduate degree in Public Health. One fun fact about Nikita is that she backpacked through Central America for a month!
Riley Appelgren relocated from Hillman, Michigan to Portland, Oregon to serve as the SERV-OR VISTA with the Oregon Health Authority's Health Secrurity, Preparedness and Response program (HSPR)! Riley studied psychology and community health while attending Central Michigan University. She worked as a teaching assistant in a human anatomy lab with cadavers and as a forensic psychology research assistant. After completing her year of national service, Riley plans to attend graduate school for a master's degree in public health policy or epidemiology. This will allow Riley to influence global public health policy to advocate for better access to health care. A fun fact about Riley is that she loves backcountry camping, and she will be camping for her entire week-long road trip to Portland!
Rose DeRoo is joining the team from Eastpointe, Michigan to serve as the Lincoln County Public Health’s Health Equity VISTA in Newport. Rose received her degree in Social Work from Michigan State University. She has interned with the Ingram County Circuit in Juvenile Probation and worked as an adoption investigator! Rose hopes that her year as a VISTA will help her determine whether to pursue a master’s in Social Work or Public Health. While at Michigan State University, Rose minored in Chinese!
Relocating from Burnsville, Minnesota, Jenna Kacheroski is serving at Coos Health and Wellness as the Breastfeeding and Health Equity Coordinator VISTA in Coos Bay. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she studied Forensic Science. During college, Jenna went on a medical-service trip to Peru, which sparked her interest in public health!
Originally from Lake Oswego, Oregon, Julia Winett is serving at Multnomah County as the Opioid Safety and Recovery VISTA. Julia graduated from Oregon State University where she studied public health, specifically health promotion and health behavior. A unique fact about Julia is if she could only choose one food to live off of for the rest of her life, she would choose garbanzo beans!
Relocating from her hometown of Portland, Oregon to Tillamook County, Shelby Porter is serving at the Diabetes Prevention and Community Health Promotion VISTA at Tillamook County Health Department. Before her year of service, Shelby studied public health with a focus on health promotion and health behavior at Oregon State University as well as working as a volunteer at OHSU in Emergency Medicine helping screen and enroll patients in qualified studies. A fun fact about Shelby is she loves being outdoors for hiking and running!
Hollis Hubbard.jpg

Originally from Kentucky, Hollis Hubbard is serving at Deschutes County Health Services as the Public Health VISTA. Hollis will be working on the Youth Action Council at La Pine High School in partnership with their School Based Health Center to help decrease barriers for low-income youth seeking health services. Hollis will also be working with the Health Equity Task Force in Deschutes County to provide guidance around advancing equity from a public health and poverty perspective.

Spring 2019-2020 cohort

Robbie Edwards is serving as the EMS & Trauma Systems VISTA with the Oregon Health Authority in Portland. Originally from Albany, New York, he attended University of California, Berkeley and majored in political studies and environmental sciences. He interned with Californians for Pesticide Reform where he used GIS mapping software to analyze trends of pesticide use in rural counties throughout California. He plans to pursue a master’s in public health at Portland State University, where he hopes to use his experience and education to design and analyze public health policy. A fun fact about Robbie is that he played accordion in a Ska band when he was in high school!
Originally from Mason City, Iowa, Bailey Simpson relocated to Portland to serve as the Mental Health Equity Communications VISTA at Lines for Life. She graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in sociology and communication from Iowa State University, and she hopes to pursue a doctorate someday! Bailey will rely on her years of experience with advocacy of program management at the Iowa State University Foundation to benefit Lines for Life’s outreach team, and she hopes her national service will inform her career in either teaching, non-profit work, or conducting sociological research. Additionally, Bailey has a passion for creating abstract art and exploring metaphysical philosophy!
Cindell Mikesell.jpg Cindel Mikesell joins the team from Keizer, Oregon and is currently serving with Linn County as the Vulnerable Populations VISTA. She has studied business administration, organizational psychology and resilience psychology. She is currently enrolled in a Community Public Health degree program at the University of the People. She is CERT certified and has a passion for emergency preparedness work. She also volunteered at CCTV learning studio production, sound editing, and field camera work. An interesting fact about Cindel is that she was part of the Northwest Civil War Council’s reenactments through the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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