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Meet the Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps VISTA Team!

Welcome 22 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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OHA AmeriCorps VISTA Leaders!

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Elizabeth Van Flandern (they/she) is the June 2021-2022 Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps VISTA Leader in Portland! Elizabeth graduated in 2020 from The George Washington University with a degree in international affairs and a minor in women's, gender & sexuality studies. They just completed a service year with AmeriCorps NCCC where they did a full loop around the country, traveling from California to Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey Idaho and back. In college, they interned with Planned Parenthood and a local harm reduction clinic. They were also on a competitive Raas/Garba (Indian folk dance) team. After AmeriCorps VISTA service they plan to attend graduate school and eventually work with INGOs promoting women's wellbeing. They're excited to visit Portland restaurants and get to know the June cohort.

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Hillary Dodge (she/her/hers) is the August 2021-2022 Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps VISTA Leader in Portland! Hillary was born and raised in Portland, OR in the Alberta and Irvington neighborhoods. She went to school at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, where she double majored in human services and French with a minor in teaching English as a second language. After completing university, Hillary taught English in France for two years, as well as taught abroad in Brazil. She can speak fluent French and conversational Portuguese. Hillary completed her first AmeriCorps service year in Boston, MA serving with City Year where she mentored and assisted in a third-grade classroom - completely over zoom. Hillary is particularly excited to work with AmeriCorps VISTA in Portland and give back to the community she grew up in, with a focus on public health and learning more about the ins and outs of public health policy. In her free time Hillary likes to read, exercise, and take her neighbor's dog on long, rambling walks.

Welcome the June 2021-2022 Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps Cohort!


Kinsley Ballas (she/they) joins our team as the Preparedness Capacity Building VISTA member serving with the Oregon Health Authority's Health Security, Preparedness & Response Program in Portland! Originally a Navy brat, Kinsley moved to Roseburg, OR in high school and then attended University of Oregon in Eugene. At UO, she studied political science with minors in history and women and gender studies and certificates in public policy and global engagement. She is just coming from State College, PA where she was working on a Master of International Affairs with a concentration in security in the Middle East. She hopes to work for the State Department as a foreign service officer after her time with AmeriCorps. A fun fact about her is that she loves animals and is always ready with an animal fact.
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Originally from New Orleans, Suzannah Burke (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Lake County Population Health VISTA member serving with the Lake Health District in Lakeview! Suzannah graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in painting and a minor in sculpture. After graduating she began working as an activities coordinator for grades pk-5th at a small private school in New Orleans. After working in a school setting, she decided that she wanted to live a life more dedicated to service and become a licensed social worker. Her biggest career goal is to open a nonprofit that provides aftercare and support for suicide survivors and ease them back into society to live a happy, healthy, and self-sufficient life. She is a classically trained oil painter but her main hobbies are knitting and woodworking. She’s very excited to live in a colder environment this year so she can wear more of her designs! She’s also looking forward to living in a small town and building relationships with her neighbors and new community.

Amy McVeety (she/her/hers) joins our team as Tillamook County Community Outreach & Engagement VISTA member serving with the Tillamook County community Health Centers! Amy grew up in Corvallis, OR and went to school there, attending Oregon State University and studying biology with a minor in public health and a Medical Humanities Certificate. She volunteered with a local sports league for 10 years, as well as volunteering for the last school year with Student Health Services as part of a peer health promotion team. She also worked for the College of Science, promoting student success and providing general student support. After her service with AmeriCorps, she plans to pursue an MPH, with a focus in either health promotion or epidemiology. She's looking forward to getting to know the other members of the OHA AmeriCorps VISTA team and getting to work with the Oregon community!

Originally from Portland, Sarah Rose Ezelle (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Preparedness Public Information VISTA member serving with the Oregon Health Authority's Health Security, Preparedness & Response Program in Portland! Sarah Rose has spent the last few years at Beloit College in Wisconsin, studying philosophy, cognitive science, and English. One of the volunteer experiences she values most has been working with a second-grade student to help develop literacy skills. She previously worked at the Buccaneer Boathouse, an organization at her school that gives students the opportunity to canoe and kayak on the Rock River. Although she's not yet entirely sure what career path she'd like to take, she's interested public health and communications. In her free time, she enjoys walking and listening to audiobooks. She's excited to learn more about the field of public health and how to effectively communicate to wide audiences.

Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, Dulce Sanabria Garcia (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Oregon Public Safety Net VISTA member serving with the Oregon Health Authority Office of the Public Health Director in Portland! Dulce recently graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in biology and minors in sociology and mathematics. In college she participated in a community-based learning experience called the Border Immersion, which focuses on immigration injustice and activism. She also worked extensively with the First-Generation student community on campus and had the opportunity to intern with WorldOregon in their International Visitor Program last summer. This past year, she worked on a research project with one of her professors looking at the root causes for the disproportionate COVID-19 disease and vaccination rates among minority communities in the U.S. In the future, she is interested in pursuing a dual degree in MPH/MSW. She is excited to collaborate with community partners and learn more about policy implementation. Fun fact: She has a giant stuffed pineapple – like the ones from the fair!

Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Amelia Dunlap (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Medical Surge VISTA member serving with the Oregon Health Authority's Health Security, Preparedness & Response Program in Portland! Amelia received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry with a minor in psychology at the University of Kansas. She has worked as a medical assistant for over 4 years in primary care, as well as specialty clinics in oncology, endocrinology, and cardiology. Lately she has been volunteering at a local pharmacy's vaccine clinic, administering COVID-19 vaccines to members of her community. In the future, she would like to go to medical school and get a combined Master of Public Health degree. In her free time, she enjoys jamming out with friends and would like to join a band. This year she is excited to meet new people and gain a new perspective on patient care.
Originally from Olympia, Washington, Emma Hollar (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Planning and Evaluation VISTA member serving with the Oregon Health Authority's Health Security, Preparedness & Response Program in Portland! Emma has an undergraduate degree in health sciences and biology from Portland State University and Master of Public Health from King's College London. Her ultimate career goal is to pursue a medical degree in infectious disease and work on outbreak management. She played rugby for KCL during her MPH and used to be a radio DJ. She's excited to learn about OHA and all the exciting projects they have going on!
Originally from Portland, Zoe Wyse (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Disaster Behavioral Health Response & Recovery VISTA member serving with Oregon Health Authority Health Systems Division in Portland! Zoe earned a Bachelor of Science in social science from Portland State University, a Master of Public Health from Oregon Health & Science University and a Master of Divinity from Marylhurst University. She served as a Research & Policy Intern for the Center for Evidence-based Policy, as a Chaplain Intern at Portland VA Medical Center, and as a Chaplain Resident at Oregon State Hospital. She has volunteered with the Red Cross, at a day shelter for women, and as a chaplain in Multnomah County Detention Center. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school. She is excited to serve as an AmeriCorps member and looks forward to learning about behavioral health disaster response, helping communities strengthen their disaster response planning, and getting to know the other AmeriCorps members.

Welcome the August 2021-2022 Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps Cohort! 


Alex Ziontz (he/him) joins our team as the Health Promotion VISTA member serving at North Central Public Health District in The Dalles!  Alex is from Renton, Washington which is near Seattle where he went to school at the University of Washington. Alex has previously worked with the Washington State Department of Health and the UW Dept of Epidemiology. His long term goals are to go to graduate school for an MPH in Epidemiology. An interesting fact about Alex is that he plays guitar, cello, and piano!
Angeline Anselme (she/her) joins our team as the Substance Use Decriminalization VISTA member serving at Oregon Health Authority Health Systems Division in Salem! Originally from New York, Angeline has lived in Colorado and Montana as a single mom of her daughter, Gabrielle. Angeline is 33 years clean and lives recovery- many roads to recovery, many roads to higher powers. As the OHA Substance Use Decriminalization VISTA, she’s hoping these new roads and pathways can help people with Substance Use Disorder become healthy, safe, and find recovery. She is looking forward to seeing how her experience, strength, and hope can help others. Her hobbies include music, art and crafts and literature. Angeline loves LOTR, Princess Bride, Labyrinth, and Renaissance Festivals. She has created a Free Arts Recovery Group for all affected by addiction and their family and friends, which includes Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Literature Arts.

Brett Buesnel (he/him) joins our team as the Health Promotion & Engagement VISTA member serving at Tillamook Health Department in Tillamook! Brett is from Austin, TX, went to Texas Christian University in Ft Worth, TX, and moved to Portland in 2012. Brett has been interested in public health for many years and is excited to have the opportunity to serve with OHA and Tillamook Co. He loves to forage for mushrooms and is happy to take along anybody who’s interested.

Christina Le (she/her) joins our team as the Community Engagement VISTA member serving at Yamhill Community Care in McMinnville! Christina is from San Diego, California. A recent graduate from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in public health with a concentration in community health sciences. Christina also has a minor in psychology and visual arts because of an interest in human behavior and creating art as a hobby. While at UCSD, Christina worked with Counseling and Psychology Services to help promote a mindfulness app and other health resources for students. In the future, she plans to get an MPH and is interested in community health. Christina is excited to learn more about the Yamhill County community and improving access and engagement to health services. Christina enjoys drawing, cooking, gaming, and taking walks in nature.
Dorothy Goodwin (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Live Healthy Lane Community Engagement VISTA member serving at United Way of Lane County in Springfield! Dorothy is from Westford, MA, a suburb outside of Boston, and recently graduated from University of Massachusetts Amherst where she double majored in public health and Spanish. While at UMass, Dorothy coordinated events and volunteer programs centered around food insecurity, interned for a human rights organization, performed research on maternal health and decolonizing methodologies, and studied in Argentina for a semester. In her free time, she loves hiking, cooking, yoga, and seeing live music and is so excited to explore Oregon! Dorothy is passionate about health equity and plans to pursue a master's in public health and go into healthy policy and program planning in the future. Dorothy is so excited to connect with and learn from the community and gain experience addressing health disparities and improving healthcare access for all populations this year!

Grasiela Quevedo-Ramos (she/her/ella) joins our team as the Multnomah County Health Department Youth Advisory VISTA member. Grasiela recently graduated from Willamette University where she majored in biology and Spanish. During this time, she was both a student and an athlete playing on the Willamette Women's Soccer team. Using what she's learned as a first-generation college student, Grasiela focused on mentoring BIPOC students within the community to pursue a field in science. During her last two years, she worked at a college access program called Willamette Academy. This program serves over 150 Salem- Keizer School District youth, grades 8-12, pursuing higher education. In the Summer of 2020, Grasiela worked with the Minority Health Disparities Research Training Program by launching a questionnaire in Orange County asking about people's housing situations, self-care practices, and their overall risk perception of the pandemic, trying to better understand the BIPOC experience. Her long-term goal is to become a Pediatric Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

Hannah Bryan (she/her) joins our team as the Accountable Health Communities VISTA member serving at OHSU's Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network in Portland! Hannah was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from The Ohio State University in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in environmental public health. Throughout college, Hannah was a Mount Leadership Society Scholar and resident advisor. She volunteered with St. Stephen's Community House and NNEMAP Food Pantry in their food and nutrition centers and was a college mentor with College Mentors for Kids. Hannah also acted as a Study Recruiter/Interviewer for the Ohio Department of Health's Coronavirus Study in the Summer of 2020. Hannah is passionate about building healthier, more equitable communities. She looks forward to addressing rural health disparities and focusing on preventative, holistic care all while getting to know the great city of Portland! Outside of work, Hannah enjoys cooking, painting, and spending time outside. She is also learning how to roller-skate!

Jaden Emminger (he/him/his) joins our team as the Marion County Emergency Management VISTA member in Salem! Jaden grew up in Corvallis, OR and went to undergraduate at the University of Montana in Missoula and received a master's through Ball State. He is currently volunteering on the board for a non-profit serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While in Montana, Jaden learned Irish. After getting to know some of the students from Ireland he joined the University's hurling team, which is a more than 3,000-year-old Irish sport that is a mixture of baseball, hockey, and lacrosse. Jaden helped this team win two National Championships in three years. He's also fenced and qualified for Nationals, ironically enough with his worst weapon, and helped move horses from Winter quarters to a boy scout Summer camp 200 miles across Mount Hood. He's excited to get to know his team and help communities improve their ability to respond to natural disasters.

Maria Cress-Gonzalez (she/her/hers) joins our team as the Oregon Medicaid Program Alignment VISTA member serving at Oregon Health Authority Health Systems Division in Salem! Maria was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She moved to Oregon to attend Pacific University in Forest Grove. She completed a bachelor's degree in public health with a minor in mathematics with a practicum and thesis focused on increasing food safety and hygiene at Oregon farmer's markets in Washington County. Maria now lives in Portland with her cat and is excited to learn and engage with her fellow cohort. Post AmeriCorps service she hopes to pursue emergency management at a city or county level. In her spare time she loves to travel, go hiking & camping, bird watching, and spend time at home with my housemates and their pets. After working in retail for several years, she's excited to get back into the public health sphere and make a positive impact!
Fazeel Hashmi (he/him/his) joins our team as the Oregon ECHO Network VISTA member serving at OHSU's Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network in Portland! Fazeel is from Bangor, Maine. He graduated from the University of Maine in 2019, with degrees in microbiology and molecular biology. After graduating, Fazeel worked as a Firefighter/EMT and as a Pediatric Neurology Research Coordinator. He is currently working towards applying to medical school to someday be a physician working in a rural area! Relocating to Oregon for his AmeriCorps year is the first time he's been to the West Coast. Fazeel is excited to explore the area, hike the beautiful trails of Oregon, and try out the food scene of the Portland area!
Teresa Campos-Ortiz (she/her) joins our team as the CARAVAN Rural Health Access VISTA member serving at OHSU's Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network  in Portland! Teresa is from Hillsboro, OR. She went to Hillsboro High School and recently graduated from Portland State University. Teresa previously worked for the Hillsboro School District as an Educational Assistant and Bilingual Assistant. She has volunteered at Blanchet House, Store to Door, and Meals on Wheels. Teresa hopes to apply for graduate school at PSU and be in the public health field. She loves potatoes! Teresa is a huge telenovela (soap opera) fan, mostly Spanish language ones. She is excited to be a part of the public health field and is looking forward to learning new things and experiences!


Emily Eckert (she/her) joins our team as the Health Share of Oregon Health and Housing VISTA member in Portland! Emily grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from the University of Delaware with a major in public policy and minors in political science, legal studies, and women's studies. During college, she planned volunteer opportunities for her service sorority in New Castle Delaware and participated in U.S.-based service trips focused on women's rights and urban revitalization. Emily also worked with a Delaware councilman researching the health and environmental impacts of zoning policies on local communities, where she found her interest in public health. Emily is looking forward to exploring Oregon, working in a new community, and learning more about housing as a social determinant of health during her of AmeriCorps service. After her year of service, Emily intends to pursue a career as a policy analyst with a focus on health policy and promotion. A fun fact about her is she's been to 13 countries!