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Meet the Oregon Health Authority VISTA Team!

Welcome 27 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 the Fall 2019 VISTA Leader! 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 the Fall VISTA Leader for the 2019-2020 Cohort! 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!
Anna-Caroline Jervis relocated to St. Helens to serve as the Columbia Health Services Equity and Access Specialist VISTA. Anna-Caroline recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in public health. In Ohio, she gained volunteered with the Athens County Food Pantry and interned with The Hive, a free drop-in program for young children. Anna-Caroline is interested in graduate school as well as nursing school and hopes that her AmeriCorps service will provide valuable experience and clarify her future career moves! A fun fact about Anna-Caroline is that she filled out our onboarding survey while road-tripping from Xenia, Ohio to Portland, Oregon! She also loves dogs!

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!
Originally from Salem, Oregon, Lauren Griffin is serving as the Statewide Behavioral Health Family Engagement VISTA in the same city. She graduated from Western Oregon University with a Bachelor of Science in Education Studies. She has worked as an Instructional Assistant in a Learning Resource Center with students who had learning disabilities. During this time, she also had the opportunity to run social skills groups for students who had behavioral difficulties. Lauren would like to attend graduate school for an MBA or MPA/MPP. She loves to crochet and can spend several hours doing it. A fun fact about her is that she has a one-eyed cat!
Malachi Nelson joins us from Saginaw, Michigan and serves as the Yamhill County Public Health Preparedness VISTA in McMinnville. He studied Exercise Science at Saginaw Valley State University. One of the rewarding experiences he had was as a caretaker to meet the physical, mental, and social needs for a client. He completed an internship at the Saginaw Career Complex as a Clinical Student Supervisor where he provided supervision and feedback to high school students shadowing health professionals at a local hospital. Malachi hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Public Health to study the social and environmental determinants of health. A fun fact about him is that he has traveled to many countries, including Guatemala, Mexico, Haiti, and Costa Rica!
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 is relocating from Hillman, Michigan to Portland, Oregon to serve as the Health Care for All Oregon Resource Access VISTA! 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!
Tina Tan is going to serve her VISTA year in Hillsboro as the Washington County Preparedness VISTA. Tina earned a degree in Public Health from Oregon State University. Tina has also worked at Oregon Health & Science University’s family medicine clinic working on improving patient satisfaction. After her year of service in VISTA, Tina would like to go to nursing school and become either a public health nurse or a maternal health nurse. An interesting fact about Tina is that she was born in China but raised in Portland and can speak three languages!
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Zach Silva is serving as the Lane County Public Health Preparedness VISTA in Eugene. They graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a double major in Studio Art and Art History. They have worked as a studio assistant in the Printmaking Department in the College of Liberal Arts at UTEP. They also have lots of experience as a volunteer setting up exhibits on campus. Zach’s future goal is to get a graduate degree in Printmaking and/or Ceramics so they can teach at an institution of higher learning. They have an interest in connecting art back to the community as an expression of agency. An interesting fact about them is that they have slight heterochromia which means that one of their eyes is darker than the other!
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!

Fall 2018-2019 cohort

Liz Stankov relocated from Ann Arbor, Michigan to serve at Lake Health District in Lakeview with a focus on opioid abuse prevention. With a degree in psychology and minors in urban studies and “Community Action and Social Change” from the University of Michigan, Liz has experience working with immigrants and refugees seeking asylum, adults experiencing developmental disabilities, and for a county Adult Drug Court program. After serving with AmeriCorps VISTA, she hopes to complete a Masters of Social Work degree and become a licensed social worker specializing in mental health and addiction treatment. When she’s not in the office, Liz loves being outdoors and camping. She loves the smell of campfires!
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!
Shawnel Yahtin_126.jpg Shawnel Yahtin serves in her hometown Warm Springs as the Opioid Awareness VISTA with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Shawnel has several experiences working and volunteering in Central Oregon. She has worked on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey on Tribal Adults in her community and has volunteered at a local Early Childhood education center. She hopes that her experience as a VISTA member will teach her communications and other skills that will allow her to continue working in her community. Something unique about Shawnel is that she is very creative!
Tom Healy_126.png Tom Healy relocated from Petaluma, CA to serve as the Opioid Crisis and Response VISTA at the Oregon Health Authority Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention program. Tom graduated with a Political Science degree from Seattle University, where he completed an internship with Congressman Jared Huffman in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, he worked at a local non-profit, Committee on the Shelter-less, as a volunteer coordinator and as a development associate. He hopes to continue his education by attending graduate school to study non-profit work and local government. An impreessive fact about Tom is that he recently ran a marathan and plans to run more in the future!

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!
Hailing most recently from Salem, Oregon, Haley Miller joins the team as the Outreach and Health Systems Innovator VISTA. She is serving with Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine, where she will utilize her undergraduate studies in Spanish and public health from Oregon State University. Before beginning her VISTA service, Haley studied communicable diseases with local epidemiologists while interning for the Marion County Health Department. Haley hopes to study epidemiology in graduate school. Something unique about Haley is that she has studied Spanish since she was 13 and developed her fluency while studying abroad in Costa Rica and Spain!
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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