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Meet the Oregon Health Authority VISTA Team!

Welcome 23 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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Originally from Freehold, New Jersey, Mike Salvatore joins us as the Spring 2020-2021 VISTA Leader! Mike graduated in 2018 from George Washington University in Washington, DC with a BA in international affairs and geography. While in school, he interned with the American Public Health Association and HealthHIV, where he developed online training materials for HIV-related organizations and developed a passion for public health. After graduation, he served in the Peace Corps in Botswana, where he worked with a community to improve the ability of NGOs and schools to provide HIV education and care to the community. After Mike’s year as a VISTA Leader, he hopes to earn an MPH in Global Health and work to improve public health outcomes around the world. Mike is excited to work with the VISTA team and looks forward to spending a year in a new city. Fun fact - This is Mike’s first time in Oregon!
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After completing a year of VISTA service on our team, Allison Mora is now a Fall 2020-2021 VISTA Leader in Portland! Allison recently completed her year of VISTA service at Familias en Acción as the Development and Communications VISTA in Portland, OR. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health with a minor in global studies from Portland State University. Her studies also focused on intersectionality, social justice, and decolonizing methodologies. She also 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. After her VISTA leader service, she hopes to receive her Master of Public Health in public health policy and management and apply that knowledge to work with communities and help them strive towards health equity and justice, sustainability, sovereignty, and cultural revitalization. A cool fact about Allison is that she has varying levels of fluency in five languages!
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Originally from Long Island, New York, Laura Chant joins our team as a Fall 2020-2021 VISTA Leader in Portland! Previously, she served in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa, where she partnered with community health workers to design and implement health education and disease prevention initiatives. Prior to her Peace Corps service, Laura received a Bachelor of Science in Global Health with a minor in women & gender studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. While in school, she interned with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, where she provided support to a multi-national family planning program that aimed to increase the accessibility of quality reproductive health services in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Following her time as a VISTA Leader, Laura plans to pursue a graduate degree in social behavioral interventions. A fun fact about Laura is that she was once on national TV in Burkina Faso!

Welcome the Spring 2020-2021 Oregon Health Authority VISTA Cohort

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Willow Murdock joins the team as the Statewide Ombuds Program VISTA with the Oregon Health Authority Ombuds Program! As a former military dependent, Willow is from all over, but they’ve called Oregon home for the past six years. Willow graduated from the University of Portland in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in politics and policy, since then working as a cook and getting involved volunteering with Oregon State University (OSU) Master Gardeners. They recently returned to Portland from a winter practice period at Great Vow Zen Buddhist Monastery in Clatskanie, OR. They consider themselves a dedicated practitioner of meditation and Qi Gong. Willow is interested in the intersections of mental, physical, and environmental health, and is considering pursuing a career in social work with a focus on public health. They are very excited for the opportunity to work with OHA VISTA, to be a part of and learn from an organization on the cutting edge of what it means to support public health.
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Originally from Ashland, Oregon, Maya Roe-Bauer joins our team as the Health Equity and Quality Improvement VISTA at the Oregon Primary Care Association in Portland! Maya has been living in Portland for three years attending Portland State University and will be graduating in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in community health promotion. While a student, Maya interned with the Multicultural Kidney Education Program and The Red Cross. She also taught fitness classes and volunteered abroad. A fun fact about Maya is that she has done two study abroad trips, one in South America and one in India! Maya is excited to stay in Portland to serve with the OHA VISTA team and is looking forward to learning and exploring a field of public health she may want to make a career out of.
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Coming from Gadsden, Alabama, Savannah New joins the team as the HIV Food Security Coordinator VISTA with the Oregon Health Authority HIV, STD, and TB Program in Portland! Savannah is graduating in May 2020 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a bachelor’s degree in public health with a minor in gender studies. Previously she interned at the 1917 HIV Clinic at the UAB and the Alabama Campaign for Adolescent Sexual Health. Savannah is excited to explore issues of poverty and access to nutrition and how they affect the HIV+ community in Oregon. In the future, she plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree. One fun fact about Savannah is that she spent a semester of college in Seoul, South Korea where she learned a bit of Korean and ate a ton of kimchi.
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Originally from Milwaukie, Oregon, Alexis Martinez is joining the team to serve as the Health Equity and Inclusion Program Development VISTA at Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine in Oregon City! She recently graduated from Western Oregon University and has a wide array of volunteer experiences from ZooTeens at the Oregon Metro Zoo to HPV/HPVV Advocacy with the Oregon Pacific Health Education Center. Alexis interned as a program coordinator for the Western Oregon University (WOU) Food Pantry. Her career goal is to work in Health Promotion and Programming. An interesting fact about Alexis is that she had a liver transplant at the age of eight. The aspect of the upcoming VISTA year she is most excited for are the opportunities to go to different conferences and seminars!
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Originally from Houston, Texas, Prachi Patel is joining the team to serve as the EMS and Trauma Systems Program VISTA with the Oregon Health Authority EMS and Trauma Systems Program. Prachi recently graduated from Whitman College where she studied biology and art. While attending Whitman, she volunteered at the SOS Clinic in Walla Walla, a free clinic that provides medical services to underserved populations, where she helped patients schedule appointments and communicated with labs who worked with the clinic. After her year of service, Prachi plans to start medical school. A fun fact about Prachi is that she is an artist and enjoys spending time outside!
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Coming from Rochester, New York, Mira Ramesh joins the team as the Volunteer Program Developer VISTA at the Borland Free Clinic in Tualatin, Oregon! Mira attended Cornell University, where she majored in human biology, health, and society and minored in global health and Spanish. During college, she interned in Zambia, Rwanda and Honduras. Through these experiences, Mira became interested in promoting community-based health and education development, both domestically and internationally which led her to serve in the Peace Corps. Mira served in Sierra Leone as a STEM teacher in the northwestern part of the country. She is interested in attending a combined MD/MPH program. Since the Peace Corps gave Mira experience in international development, during her VISTA year she is looking forward to learning about the barriers to poverty reduction and access to healthcare which exist on a more domestic level.
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Originally from San Jose, California, Katie Mannina is joining the team as the Population Health VISTA at Lake Health District! Katie received her bachelor’s degree in public health from Tulane University in New Orleans. She volunteered with Edible Schoolyard New Orleans and Ronald McDonald House Charities throughout her time at Tulane. After her VISTA year, Katie plans to earn a Master of Public Health and work toward addressing food insecurity at a nonprofit or a food bank. Katie is looking forward to living in a small town and getting to know the community by working with them. She also hopes to do a lot of hiking around southeastern Oregon. Fun fact – Katie got her motorcycle license in August of 2019!

Welcome the Fall 2020-2021 Oregon Health Authority VISTA Cohort


Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Rachel Crowl joins our team as the Oregon Rural Accountable Health Communities VISTA in Portland. Rachel recently graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and International Studies. During her undergraduate studies, she interned with a refugee resettlement non-profit and clerked for the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. After her year of service, Rachel plans to attend law school and pursue a career in public interest law. Some of her interests include cooking, plants, poetry, and art. She is excited to be living in a new city and working with the OHA team to serve her local community!

Brigette Stickney is joining our team as the Live Healthy Lane Community Engagement VISTA in Eugene. Brigette is originally from a small town called Saxonburg just north of Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Dickinson College in May 2020 as a biochemistry and molecular biology major. Brigette has led and participated in various U.S.-based service trips with Dickinson College, volunteered with the YWCA rape crisis hotline while attending college, conducted medical anthropology research on rural health in Tanzania, and interned for a summer at a rural community health non-profit in India. In the future, she plans to attend medical school and dedicate much of her career to working in non-profit clinics to improve healthcare access. Her favorite hobbies are hiking and backpacking! She is excited to learn more about ways to improve healthcare access for low-income and rural communities and to explore some of Oregon's beautiful trails.

Originally from Banks, Oregon, Ariel Slifka joins our team as the Community Health Connection VISTA in Tillamook. Ariel recently graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in public health and a minor in statistics. During this time, she interned with the Benton County Health Department and the Oregon Health Authority working on projects focused on identifying vulnerable populations in terms of STI's and HPV vaccination in order to better allocate resources. At OSU, she enjoyed volunteering with Student Health Services as part of a peer health outreach program where she helped coordinate events on campus highlighting sexual health. She is looking forward to expanding her understanding of public health and working with new communities during her year with AmeriCorps before pursuing an MPH in either epidemiology or health promotion. A fun fact about Ariel is that she spent this past summer going door-to-door asking residents if they were interested in a free, self-administered COVID-19 test as part of OSU's TRACE COVID-19 project. She has also been spending this time in quarantine as an opportunity to do more cooking and hiking (the hiking has been more successful)!

Galen Tribble joins our Fall team as the Oregon Rural ECHO Network VISTA in Portland. Galen grew up in Cody, Wyoming just east of Yellowstone National Park. He attended the University of Wyoming where he studied physiology and minored in international studies. Galen volunteered at the Laramie Downtown Clinic which provides healthcare access to underserved populations. He also volunteered and worked as ski patrol at a local mountain. Galen’s career goals are to attend medical school and become a physician focusing on rural and wilderness medicine. He is an avid climber, skier, and mountain biker and is excited to explore the outdoor potential of the Pacific Northwest while serving his VISTA year.


Clara Hare-Grogg is joining our team as the Breastfeeding and Health Equity Coordinator VISTA in Coos Bay. Originally from North Carolina, Clara graduated from Davidson College with a double major in anthropology and music. During college summers, she studied intermediate Arabic in Jordan, interned at the International Rescue Committee, and worked in Public Information as a Nonprofit Leadership Fellow for the Town of Davidson. She also spent a semester in Nepal and studied menstrual health in the Himalayas. After graduating from Davidson, Clara was a Young Adult Volunteer in the Philippines, where she promoted reproductive health and supported survivors of sexual violence. Having conducted a project on breastfeeding advocacy during college, she is excited to further engage with maternal health promotion in this VISTA position. In her spare time, Clara enjoys working on the side as a wedding violinist. Fun fact: Clara performed onstage with Noel “Paul” Stookey of the popular folk group Peter, Paul & Mary when she was a violinist with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra!

Carolina Peña-Navarro joins our team as the CARES-Flu Outreach VISTA with the Oregon Health Authority Immunization Program in Portland. Originally from Henderson, Nevada, Carolina attended the University of Portland and graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After graduating, she had a summer internship with OHSU's Occupational Health program. From there she has been working with kids that have autism to help them learn different life skills, ranging from tying shoes to improving social skills. Carolina would like to pursue a graduate degree in public health to help those that need it most. Interesting Fact: Carolina found out through experience that predators, like hyenas, don't go after tents in the Serengeti as long as there is no food in them!

Sara Graber is joining our team as the Multnomah County Youth Advisory VISTA in Portland. Sara is originally from San Diego, where she also graduated from the University of California San Diego in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and global health. While in college, she developed a passion for social justice, particularly in health and educational equity. After graduating, she served as an AmeriCorps member with Safe Passages, Oakland, working with youth in under-resourced schools and later as a prevention specialist with San Diego Youth Services’ Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program, teaching students and training teachers in comprehensive sexual reproductive health. Most recently, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, working with a community to develop and facilitate life skills HIV education.  During her VISTA year, Sara is excited to raise the voices of youth to decision-makers. In the future, she hopes to earn a dual MPH/MSW degree and help in developing interventions to prevent adverse childhood experiences. A fun fact is that she speaks Swedish!

Justine Ecker joins our team as the Deschutes County Public Health VISTA in Bend. Justine grew up in McMinnville, Oregon and is a graduate from the Multi-Disciplinary Design program at the University of Utah. While in school she developed an interest in platform-based and research-intensive design projects. Some of her projects include a proposed park structure and artist in residence program for Bears Ears National Monument, an immersive exhibit platform for Yellowstone National Park and a video project sharing stories of perseverance and activism from women in the Four Corners Region. Outside of work, Justine likes making music, pottery, clothing and anything else that gets her working with her hands. This upcoming VISTA year she is excited to see how to apply her degree to public health and work in a setting that is outside the classroom.

Clara Morris is excited to be a part of the AmeriCorps VISTA program as a COVID-19 Response Assessment VISTA in Lakeview! She was raised in St Louis, Missouri before attending Saint Louis University-Madrid Campus in Spain where she graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in intercultural communication. Upon returning to her hometown, she worked as an Administrative Assistant II at her alma mater and studied to receive a Post-Bac Certificate in Organizational Development from Saint Louis University as well. In her free time, she volunteered with Bilingual International Assistant Services assisting with events and continues to find any reason to explore the outdoors. She hopes that the program will be an opportunity to collaborate effectively with the community she is serving whilst growing and developing skills that would aide future projects and initiatives in the non-profit space. In the future, she looks to pursue graduate school in psychology, public health or social work.

Coming from St. Louis, Missouri, Mikayla Seabaugh is joining the team as the CARES-Flu Planning VISTA for the OHA Oregon Immunization Program in Portland. Mikayla will be receiving her bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Missouri Kansas City in December 2020. She previously worked with the Dramatic STD/HIV Program in Kansas City as a health educator to middle and high school students, and it was this experience that sparked her interest in communicable disease prevention and community health education. Mikayla is looking forward to getting to know her new community in Portland and learning about how they can work together to improve access to health services.

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Lindsey Johnson is serving as the COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery VISTA in Prineville. She attended Colgate University, where she double majored in Peace & Conflict Studies and Russian & Eurasian Studies. During college, Lindsey was a Bystander Intervention Intern at Shaw Wellness Institute where she worked to promote active bystander behavior in dangerous situations including sexual assault, harassment & discrimination, and drug & alcohol abuse. She also interned at Unitas, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing human trafficking and providing opportunities for survivors to thrive. In the future, she is interested in obtaining a MPH/JD dual degree where she can continue to pursue her passion for public interest work and social justice. A fun fact about Lindsey is that she studied abroad for a semester in Moscow, Russia in 2018!
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Originally from near Minneapolis, Minnesota, Emily Short joins our team as the North Central Public Health Promotion VISTA in The Dalles. Emily attended school at UCLA, where she worked in a health psychology lab and managed a research study that investigated the effects of weight stigma. She also worked as part of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative to create a healthier college campus. She is excited to start her journey to becoming a public health professional through this VISTA year. She hopes to learn more about health promotion and how to make healthy eating and exercise more accessible, and she is planning to get an MPH in the next few years. Emily enjoys exercise (yoga, dancing, and hiking especially), drinking tea, and reading in my free time, and is looking forward to exploring Oregon!

Chris Sanders joins our team as the Jefferson County Connects VISTA in Madras. Chris is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and he has lived there his entire life up until now. He recently graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, which is a super small liberal arts college in a small town just north of Austin, Texas. Chris loves to fly fish and play soccer and is really looking forward to exploring the beautiful scenery in Oregon!

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