Meet the PATCH Team
PATCH is a program of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health (WAWH) and is thankful for the support of their exceptional leaders and directors.
PATCH is also guided and influenced by the input of adolescent staff members (#PATCHies!), Community Advisory Teams at all PATCH Sites, PATCH Site Coordinators, and local and national partners who offer strength, diversity, and breadth.
Our small team of leadership staff, listed below, remain incredibly grateful for the ongoing support.
Amy Olejniczak, MS, MPH
PATCH Director & Founder
As a public health professional and health advocate, Amy dedicates the majority of her time to ensuring that adolescents are able to reach their highest health potential. She earned a masters degree in Family and Consumer Communication in 2005 and a Masters of Public Health degree in May of 2010 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amy worked for a number of years inside the health care industry where she was intimately involved in health communication and health promotion efforts before independently partnering with a number of non-profit and scientific research organizations to enhance their communications, outreach, and impact. Today, Amy is dedicated to her role as Associate Director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health where she founded and directs the PATCH Program. Amy has been recognized for her work in this role with the 2016 Barbara A. Lange Memorial Award, the Center for Child and Family Well-being 2014 Award of Excellence, the 2013 UW-Milwaukee College of Nursing Partnership Award, a 2012 Youth Ally Award from Diverse and Resilient, and honorable mention for the 2012 Ron Biendseil Youth Worker of the Year Award.
Erica Koepsel, MA
Implementation Manager & PATCH Coach
Erica has dedicated her time to improving health education for adolescents and young adults across the mid-west since she was 19. She spent many years as a sexual health educator for diverse groups of adolescents in Topeka, Kansas and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following graduation from Washburn University she spent one year living in Cambodia working for the Peace Corps. In Cambodia she taught about hygiene and nutrition in the local health center, started a village aerobics class, and lead sexual health education sessions with village health promoters. In 2015, Erica finished her Master of Arts in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her research focused on holistic, life-long approaches to sexual health education. She also worked in curriculum development with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin during graduate school and played a vital role in revamping their sexual health curriculum. Erica is passionate about creating a community where people can relate to their sexuality in a positive way, and believes that flourishing sexual health is strongly correlated with overall health. She’s been working with PATCH since 2015 and has enjoyed combining health education with advocacy while also working with Teen Educators to promote open and honest communication about tough topics!
Chelsea Aeschbach, MPH, CHES®
With passion and zeal, Chelsea has dedicated her career to protecting the health and well-being of individuals, families, and their communities through education, programming, and advocacy. In 2011, she received a B.S. degree in Community Health Education and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the designation of Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). As a part of her degree, she studied public health issues in both Ireland and Argentina. In 2016, she received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her previous work experiences include: coordinating the School District of Onalaska’s Fit Kids, Living Healthy student wellness program; advocating health equity as a part of the University of New Mexico’s Pathways to a Healthy Bernalillo County Program; and promoting a culture of health and wellness at Riverside Center in La Crosse and the Independence Missouri Public School District. Most recently, Chelsea worked as a graduate student on a Wisconsin Partnership Program grant funded initiative addressing the racial disparities in Wisconsin’s infant mortality rates. As PATCH’s Development Manager, she is committed to improving the health of future generations by growing and sustaining the innovative, youth-driven program.
Leen Bnyat, BS
Youth Advocacy Fellowship Manager
As a first generation immigrant to the United States, Leen is passionate about improving the health and well being of all immigrant and refugee youth locally and internationally. During her undergrad at the University of Wisconsin (UW) - Madison, Leen began as a program intern with the Dane County PATCH Site. Over the next three years, Leen fell in love with the organization, the PATCH Teen Educators, and health care advocacy. Upon graduating from UW-Madison with a B.S. in Gender and Women's Studies and minors in Global Health and African Studies in May 2017, Leen accepted an offer to be the Milwaukee PATCH Site Coordinator. Today, Leen is also managing the 2018 Youth Advocates Summer Fellowship. Looking ahead, Leen hopes to pursue a degree in nursing and a masters in public health with the ultimate goal of working in humanitarian crises management and refugee camp planning and implementation. Leen is eager to continue advocating for culturally inclusive and competent health care. She was nominated for a 2017 Community Volunteer Award and has been recognized by the Urban League of Greater Madison with the Outstanding Young Person Award. Originally from Damascus, Syria, Leen one day hopes to return to her homeland and empower women and youth to implement comprehensive community health initiatives.