Celebrating the Healthcare Changemakers of Today

Healthcare Changemakers

With Women’s History Month underway, many people look back on the trailblazers who paved the way for women across every facet of society. In healthcare, women have achieved remarkable feats; although these changemakers aren’t just confined to the past.

History is made every day by the women around us.

West Coast University students, faculty, and alumnae are shaping the future of healthcare in
extraordinary ways. With determination and resilience, these women and countless others
embody the spirit of progress and excellence in healthcare.

What follows are some WCU blog highlights from the past year that showcase the profound
impact that students and alumnae have on today’s healthcare landscape.

Empowering Public Health: A Journey from Alumna to Course Director and Non-profit Founder

Roberta S., MPH ’20 joined WCU as a clinical and lab instructor for biochemistry in 2016.
Inspired by her teaching experience, Roberta decided to pursue further education and enrolled
in the online Master’s in Public Health program at WCU. The program’s community health
component had a profound impact on Roberta, providing her with a new perspective on global
health issues.

This newfound awareness motivated her to make a difference beyond the classroom. In addition
to her role as course director for biochemistry and nutrition at WCU, Roberta is the founder of
“United Tooth Fairies,” a non-profit organization that provides oral health care services to girls
aged 4-15 in Guatemala.

Read more about Roberta here.

Alumna’s Story of Success Spans From Courtrooms to Hospitals, Venezuela to the United States

In a journey across continents and careers, West Coast University-Miami alumna Stella M., BSN
’23, shared her inspiring story transitioning from a legal background to nursing. Despite having a
law degree, Stella found herself starting over when she had to leave her home country of
Venezuela for political reasons. She came to the United States and adapted as best as she

Seizing the opportunity to fulfill her childhood dream, Stella enrolled in WCU’s nursing program
in April 2022. Despite English not being her first language, her sheer determination and
commitment led her to pass the NCLEX just 11 days after completing her program.

Read more about Stella here.

West Coast University Alum Discovers Purpose in Wound Care

Jesseca A. said she never expected to work exclusively in wound care after graduating in 2015
with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from WCU-Texas. Today, she is the vice president of
nursing at Wound Evolution, a private wound care provider with nine locations across Texas.

Jesseca found her passion in wound care after caring for an elderly patient with dementia.
When the patient first arrived at the practice, she was suffering from eight wounds across her
body. She had limited mobility after a previous stroke. The patient’s daughter was overwhelmed
by her mother’s care and didn’t know what to do before finding Wound Evolution.

Over the following weeks, Jesseca and her team worked with the patient to heal her wounds,
while supporting the daughter and family. “When you help educate the family and empower
them on how to care for their loved ones, it helps alleviate some of the anxiety they have.”

Jesseca joined Wound Evolution as a clinic nurse when it opened in 2018. As the company
expanded, Jesseca worked her way up to manager, nurse supervisor, and now vice president of
nursing. “I developed the training program for all our new hires and then began managing our
Dallas clinic,” she said. “We started out with two clinics in Dallas and Fort Worth and then grew
to nine.”

Read more about Jesseca here.

WCU-CGS MPA Student Aims to Bridge Gaps in LGBTQ+ Healthcare

While volunteering at an LGBTQ+ camp, Brenna M. had an experience that permanently
reshaped her approach to healthcare. She was looking for volunteer work to add to her master’s
applications when she came across Brave Trails, a national non-profit organization dedicated to
LGBTQ+ youth leadership.

“My time volunteering in the LGBTQ+ community was a turning point,” Brenna said. “It changed
my views on how I could use my expertise and career to advocate for those who might not have
the same privileges I do.”

Providing care to LGBTQ+ youth ignited Brenna’s unwavering passion and now steers her
educational path as a master of physician assistant student at West Coast University-Center for
Graduate Studies.

Read more about Brenna here.

Like Mother, Like Daughter, Like Granddaughter: Family Spans Three Generations in Medicine

Sadaf’s goal, she said, is to always bring a positive change to her community, just like her own
mother — who was also a doctor — did.

“My mom was a doctor, but she wanted me to do something more,” Sadaf said. “As a physician
in Pakistan, I was trying to bring change to one person at a time, but I thought with a degree in
public health, I could help the community at large.”

After her family relocated to the United States, Sadaf began working at a local hospital as a
medical assistant. Wanting to expand her reach and impact on the community, Sadaf saw that
by creating and implementing new health policies and processes, she could have a larger
influence on her community.

After receiving her master of public health from WCU in 2019, Sadaf is now an investigator for
Riverside County. And inspired by her mother once again, Javeria pursued her long-term goal of
working for an underserved community and continuing her education.

Read more about Sadaf here.

WCU Instructor Uses OT to Nurture ’Roots of Wellness’ Therapy Garden

For West Coast University alumni and instructor Lauren Diaz, a large portion of the fieldwork
she does with students is to show the need for occupational therapists in the community.

“At the very crux of what occupational therapy is, we focus on improving the health and wellness
of individuals through the engagement of meaningful occupations,” Lauren said. “We focus on
helping people thrive in their environment.”

Lauren’s journey began by working at a women’s transitional living facility that was starting a
therapy garden. She said that the experience led to the development of her role as a
community-based fieldwork instructor.

Lauren is currently partnering with two community organizations that assist people who are
experiencing or have experienced homelessness. Students work with clients individually and put
together a program to run group therapy.

Read more about Lauren here.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.