Colin O’Neill (he/him)
Wyoming Chapter Board Member
Greetings! I am a second-year medical student at the University of Washington. I grew up in Casper, Wy and completed my undergraduate education at University of North Dakota where I competed for the Men’s Swim Team. While at UND I served as a leader with Mortar Board and developed a passion for community service and organizing. As a future physician I recognize the need for social change to better provide care for our patients, and Health Equity Circle provides a platform to enact such change. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I want to focus my efforts with HEC to create both space and equity for this group within Wyoming and the region at large. Cheers!
LGBTQ+ Action Committee
LGBTQ+ individuals face mountains of system discrimination, hate, violence, and trauma. Unfortunately, healthcare providers often exacerbate these negative practices, which impacts how members of this community can safely engage within our system, creating poorer health outcomes. Despite Wyoming being where Mathew Shepard was brutally murdered, which served as a transition point for LGBTQ+ advocacy, much discrimination and violence are still very present within our state. The goal of this action committee is to create sustainable initiatives and policy to protect, embrace, and empower LGBTQ+ individuals within Wyoming. For inquiries, please contact either Colin O’Neill [email protected] or Bethany Shotts [email protected].
Maddie Isler (she/her)
Wyoming Chapter Board Member
Hi everyone! I am a third-year medical student at the University of Washington. I grew up in Laramie, WY, and studied at the University of Wyoming for my undergraduate education. Before medical school, I was fortunate to live abroad in Australia and New Zealand, and afterward, I spent time in Jackson, WY as a medical assistant and volunteered at the Teton Free Clinic. Working with other students and classmates within HEC has given me a chance to address health disparities and inequities beyond what we can do in the clinical setting that is affecting the health of our local communities here in Wyoming. I am very passionate about women's health as well as planetary health and its current and future effects on healthcare. In my free time, I love anything outdoors including mountain biking, skiing, and making fun memories with family and friends.
Wyoming Period Equity Project
Period poverty is the inability to afford or access menstrual hygiene products. This can be exacerbated by decreased availability of running water and toilet facilities. More than 1 in 5 low-income women experience period poverty every month, and many women make do with cloth, rags, tissues, or toilet paper; some even use children’s diapers or paper towels from public bathrooms. Women, girls, and people who have periods who experience period poverty miss educational and work opportunities that set them back in their education and careers. Wyoming Period Equity Project aims not only to provide access to period products to the greater Laramie, WY region, but also strives to decrease stigma, shame, and fear around periods by normalizing conversations about menstruation. Additionally, we advocate for legislation that increases women's health education and access to menstrual products. Please reach out to Maddie Isler ([email protected]), Bethany Shotts ([email protected]), or Sam Britz ([email protected]) if you are interested in getting involved! Also, see our website partnered with the Endometriosis Foundation below for more information.
Ariel Gjovig (she/her/hers)
School of Medicine, MS3
Role: HEC Board Vice President
Working in mental health care prior to medical school opened my eyes to the inequities all around us. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve and work to make our healthcare system more equitable
Hi everyone! My name is Sara Martinez, and I am a second-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine. I am originally from Colombia, but I grew up in Casper, WY and went to the University of Wyoming for my undergraduate education. During my time at UW, I had the opportunity to volunteer at a free clinic where I translated for many Spanish speaking patients. I feel passionate about creating more equitable health care and working alongside my peers in HEC to provide better access to health services for all.
My name is Hanna Ahuja, and I am a second-year medical student at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Wyoming foundations site. I grew up in a small town in Gujarat India and moved to Rock Springs, WY for a college education. I went to the University of Wyoming for my undergraduate education, where I initially got involved with the Health Equity Circle in my junior year. I have continued to be involved with HEC, with different core teams for Medicaid expansion and food insecurity and literacy throughout undergrad. Currently, I am one of the co-leads for the WY chapter of HEC and am excited to be involved with community organizing in Laramie. In my free time, I enjoy cooking different kinds of cuisine, dancing, listening to music, traveling, and spending time with family