PATCH® launched in 2010 as a program of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health (WAWH) - a small and scrappy not-for-profit organization working to inform, involve, and inspire Wisconsinites to be effective advocates. We are extremely grateful for the indispensable administrative support and leadership of our parent organization, as well as the guidance and influence of all our PATCH Sites. What brings us the most joy is working alongside youth (#PATCHies!) – listening to their stories, valuing their experiences, and empowering them to be advocates for themselves and their peers. Our small team of leadership staff, listed below, remain incredibly thankful for the ongoing support from ALL our partners and friends. We could not do this work alone.
Amy Olejniczak, MS, MPH
PATCH Program Founder & Director
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 by many for her work in this role: de Beaumont 40 under forty in public health, Brava Magazine - Woman to Watch 2018, 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
PATCH Director of Youth Engagement
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®
PATCH Director of Impact & Evaluation
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; promoting a culture of health and wellness at Riverside Center in La Crosse and the Independence Missouri Public School District; advocating health equity as a part of the University of New Mexico’s Pathways to a Healthy Bernalillo County Program; and addressing the racial disparities in Wisconsin’s infant mortality rates with the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families. As PATCH’s Development Manager, she has remained committed to improving the health of future generations by growing and sustaining the innovative, youth-driven program.