We are so thankful for the amazing people who make PATCH happen! We are a small but hard-working group of individuals who are driven to improve our communities! No matter the position, every voice is important and every minute spent on this work is valuable!
PATCH Program Director & PATCH Advocacy Fellowship Coordinator
Amy Olejniczak, MS, MPH
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 Master of Science degree in Communication and a Masters of Public Health both from the UW-Madison. She also worked for a number of years within health care systems where she was involved in health communication and health promotion. Amy founded the PATCH Program in 2010 and has worked tirelessly to improve programming, outreach, and impact of the program.
Along with directing the PATCH Program, she is the main contact and support person for Youth Advocates!
Dane County Site Coordinator
Erica Koepsel, MA
Erica is a trained sexual health educator who has dedicated her time to improving health education for adolescents and young adults across the mid-west. Although she's been doing this work since she was a teen, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Gender and Women's Studies from UW-Madison. During school, Erica worked as a health educator and curriculum developer for sexual health education programs. Erica started with PATCH in 2015 and enjoys combining her passion for health education with advocacy efforts!
Along with coaching new PATCH Program Sites, she is the main contact and support person for Dane County Teen Educators!
Milwaukee Site Coordinator
Leen Bnyat, BS
Leen is a passionate social justice advocate who is dedicated to improving the health and living conditions for refugees worldwide. She graduated with her Bachelor's Degree from UW-Madison in 2017 in Gender and Women's Studies and hopes to return to school to pursue a masters in Public Health and become a nurse practitioner. Leen started with PATCH in 2015 as an intern with the Dane County PATCH Site. After interning for two years, she is excited to continue her journey with PATCH as the Milwaukee Site Coordinator.
As the Site Coordinator, Leen is the main contact and support person for Milwaukee Teen Educators!
We owe so much of our success to the interns and fellows who donate their time and energy to our work! We are forever thankful for all you do (and have done!) to improve adolescent health in Wisconsin.
Current PATCH Interns:
Past Interns & Fellows: Emily Gordon, Azin Moghadam, Kristine Omen, Kimberly Lea, Emma Hynes, Joanna Tess, Kelsey Baubie, Fiona O’Connell-Gates, Christina Hanna, Sari Edelman, Claire Peterson, Elizabeth Wendt, Hannah Otalora-Fadner, Chelsea Aeschbach, Elle Russell, Sarah Yeazel, Tia Ramirez, Violet Wang, Henry Gaylord, Ayden Prehara, Helen Powling, Leen Bnyat, Alyssa Watts
Interested in being part of the team? Please fill out our online internship application form.
COmMUNITY ADVISORY TEAM (CAT)
Community Advisory Teams are volunteer community members who provide ongoing support and oversight to local Program Sites. If you're interested in being part of the Dane County or Milwaukee community advisory team, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dane County CAT Members:
Milwaukee CAT Members:
Wisconsin PATCH hires youth to create positive change by making their voices heard. Through rigorous training they gain the necessary skills to deliver peer education and health care professional development workshops, be involved in community and state-wide initiatives, and advocate for better adolescent programs and policies in schools, communities, and health care systems.
PATCH Teen Educators
Teen Educators are high school students, ages 14-18. They are responsible for facilitating educational workshops - PATCH for Providers and PATCH for Teens: Peer-to-Peer. These workshops are designed to improve the relationships between health care professionals and youth - ultimately improving the overall quality of care adolescents receive. Teen Educators share practical tips and tricks, as well as personal stories to help empower participants to make positive changes.
Click here to meet our current team!
PATCH Youth Advocates
Youth Advocacy Fellows, ages 12-21, work to ensure youth voices are involved in all adolescent health conversations at community and state levels. The PATCH Advocacy Fellowship aims to provide young people with the knowledge, skills, and overall support to be drivers of change in their community. They are trained to develop community advocacy projects and to provide ongoing feedback and consultation in state-level conversations related to adolesent health.
Click here to meet our current fellows!