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Kate Wheeler

A 2003 graduate of Interlake HS in Bellevue, Washington, Kate Wheeler majored in astrophysics on a swimming scholarship at the University of Nebraska. Afterwards, she traveled to Micronesia as a volunteer teacher of high school physics and math. "I stayed three years," she says. "After the first year, I taught part-time and worked on nutrition projects for the public health department." On her return, Wheeler moved to Atlanta for grad school in public health at Emory University. "I lived in Kosovo for three months," she says, "working for a UNICEF nutrition project." In May of 2013, she finished her masters degree and moved to Eugene. In September, she began work at White Bird Clinic, as coordinator of its Sharing Healthcare Options Program, funded by Cover Oregon. "It's our job to educate people and help them enroll," she says. "In October, we signed up 97 people." Wheeler and co-workers Jen Colson and Sara Stroo maintain office hours at WBC (call 541-342-4357 for an appointment), make presentations in the community, and connect with other social service agencies. "Cover Oregon is working," Wheeler emphasizes. "People can browse the web site (coveroregon.com) to explore plans and get an application." Other options for help in registering include Community Health Centers of Lane County, Centro LatinoAmericano, and certified insurance agents.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 14 November 2013

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