Health & Medicine is pleased to announce our Summer 2023 Ben Squires Equity Intern, Yasmeen Santana! - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Health & Medicine is pleased to announce our Summer 2023 Ben Squires Equity Intern, Yasmeen Santana!

July 13, 2023

Yasmeen joined Health & Medicine in June 2023 as a Summer Equity Intern. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and later moved to Texas to work at a federally qualified health center as a patient educator. Her passion for culturally appropriate health education and promotion in underserved communities brought her to Chicago in 2022 to start her Masters of Public Health degree in community health sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Yasmeen also works with the UIC Cities Project as a graduate student facilitator to organize and implement trauma-informed mentorship programs at local CPS middle schools.

Yasmeen is working with the Center for Health Equity during her time at Health & Medicine. “Right now, I am researching access to gender-affirming healthcare in Illinois and specifically what that may look like for transgender youth who have traveled from out-of-state to receive care,” says Yasmeen. “This internship has already proved to be such a valuable experience and I am eager to continue learning with and working towards a more just, healthy and equitable future with this organization.”

Inspired by their father’s commitment to helping young people, Amy Squires and Sarah Squires-Doyle graciously support interns in our Equity Intern program through the Ben Squires Equity Internship, which was established in 2021. Yasmeen joins past Ben Squires Equity Interns Mehwish Ali, Rachel Donaldson, Mayra Miranda, and Stephanie Robinson.

Ben Squires followed many different career paths before finding his true calling in public health. He worked for more than 20 years on various health care initiatives in the City of Chicago and with the Illinois Department of Public Health. He was passionate about challenging health inequities and helping to pave the way to improve access to quality health care for all people in Illinois. He especially enjoyed leading efforts to improve maternal and child health programs and to reduce infant mortality in Chicago.

As a board member at Health & Medicine for 25 years, Ben made significant and lasting contributions to public health in Illinois. In 2021, Ben posthumously received the Quentin D. Young Board of Directors Award of Excellence for his tireless commitment to public health and his mentorship of young people starting out in their careers.

Ben passed away at the age of 95 in 2021, and his devotion to public health equity continues to live on. “We are deeply honored to continue our father’s legacy by funding equitable internships with Health & Medicine, an organization we love, respect, and trust. Our father had a real passion for mentoring young people starting out in their careers,” says Amy Squires and Sarah Squires-Doyle. “From mentoring his two daughters, to the kids in the neighborhood and budding young professionals, he was always eager to get people connected.”