The Equitas Health Board of Trustees welcomed five new members in January.
The new board members, who will serve three-year terms, bring expertise in education, finance, fundraising, healthcare, governance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also represent Equitas Health as a state-wide organization.
“The candidates selected not only have the skills to ensure we continue to fulfill our mission, but they reflect the diversity and interests of the communities we serve,” said Kaarina Ornelas, chair of the Equitas Health Board of Trustees.
The new members were selected after an extensive open application process. “We are truly thankful for those who came forward. The quality of the candidates was overwhelming,” said Ornelas.
The Board of Trustees is Equitas Health’s governance body. They provide strategic direction in support of our mission to be the gateway to good health for those at risk of or affected by HIV, the LGBTQ+ community, and all those seeking a welcoming healthcare home.
Nathaniel Johnson (he/him/his), MSW, LSW, LICDC, is a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor. He is a supervisor and works with patients at a behavioral health agency in Cincinnati. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Cincinnati. He strongly supports equal access to healthcare. Outside of work, he loves dogs, classical music, smooth jazz, and good food.
Rebecca Karason (she/her/hers) is the environmental strategy and sustainability director for Huntington. She oversees environmental strategy across Huntington’s 11-state footprint. An environmental expert and certified energy manager, she has 15 years of energy efficiency and renewable energy experience. Her diverse background also includes sales, account management, program outreach, and project management. Before joining Huntington, Karason worked with American Electric Power, where she was the program manager for their Business Incentive Program. She has spent her career helping customers and contractors find ways to lower their carbon footprint. She also created the first-ever Green Team at Huntington. This group of coworkers comes up with, shares, and reviews ideas for increasing Huntington’s environmental performance. Karason has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. She also serves on the boards of the Epilepsy Foundation of Ohio, the Columbus Association of Energy Engineers, and the Ohio Environmental Council.
Clayton (Clay) O’Neill (he/him/his) is an intervention specialist/special education teacher for Canton City Schools. He previously worked as a long-term intervention specialist for Akron Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State University and is working on a master’s in educational leadership/administration at Concordia University Chicago. O’Neill identifies as an HIV+, undetectable gay man with hearing loss. His experience with hearing loss has given him a passion for teaching kids with disabilities. He also wants his students to know they have an ally in him. He is the only teacher in his K-6 building who displays an LGBTQ+ Pride flag, and he encourages students to live their truth. O’Neill also enjoys community outreach work. He served as the leader of CHAPS, a nonprofit group that collected and gave personal care items to people living with HIV in the Stark County area.
Robert Snyder (he/him/his) is a vice president of asset management at Regions Bank. In this role, he oversees the performance of a diverse portfolio of real estate across the country. He has more than 25 years of experience in asset management, with an emphasis in affordable and senior housing. He is passionate about creating value for the bank and its clients, while growing as a leader and supporting the development and diversity of his team. He volunteers with The James Cancer Hospital’s H.O.P.E. Program, providing peer support to cancer patients and caregivers. Snyder is a strong advocate of LGBTQ+ rights. He uses his education in business and nursing to fight for equity, inclusion, and care for all.
Delia Sosa (they/them/theirs) is a medical student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (UCCOM), a transgender and intersex advocate, and an LGBTQIA2+ educator. As part of UCCOM’s Medical Student Scholars Program, they are working on a project to bring LGBTQIA2+ health into undergraduate medical education classes. They want to increase LGBTQIA2+ representation in the preclinical phase of medical school. They are the incoming associate executive director of the Medical Student Pride Alliance and a leader of the UCCOM chapters of the Medical Student Pride Alliance and Latinx Medical Student Association. Sosa and their peers have advocated at the state and national levels for transgender and intersex healthcare. In their free time, Sosa creates educational resources and social media tools for healthcare providers and staff on how to improve care for LGBTQIA2+ patients. Their work has been recognized by The Point Foundation, The Latino Medical Student Association, Tufts University School of Medicine, Them magazine, NBC News, USA Today, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.