Sarah Waraniak, MPH

Sarah joined Immunize Colorado in September, 2021 as the Program Manager. She recently got her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Community Health from Texas A&M University. She received her B.S. in Exercise Science and Psychology minor from Grand Valley State University in 2017. After working in the fitness and wellness space in Flint, Michigan for a few years, Sarah learned about the field of public health, and she gained a major interest in health equity and systems-level approaches to improving health in communities. She recently completed an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in Houston, Texas, where she developed and implemented a virtual physical activity program for various refugee populations within the city. Her passion lies in addressing systemic factors behind health disparities through community engagement and by truly listening to a community's needs. In her free time, you'll find her teaching group fitness classes, running all over town, or spending time with her partner, friends, and family.

Favorite Movie / Book: Little Miss Sunshine / Educated by Tara Westover (and most other non-fiction books about strong women)

Personal Hero: I don't know that I have a personal hero, but I am incredibly grateful for my two previous roommates, Danielle and Caitlin, who shared the scariest part of the pandemic with me. Danielle has empathy and compassion beyond compare, and Caitlin is a fierce advocate for good in all forms. Both of them are intelligent and knowledgeable in their respective fields, and they taught me how to truly embody strength, vulnerability, and balance.

Hometown Fun Fact: I grew up in Fenton, Michigan, a small town about 30 minutes south of Flint. Fenton is known for having lots of forests and lakes, as well as an excellent ice cream shop where I got my first job! I strongly identify with my Midwest roots, saying the word "Ope!" at least 15 times per day.

Favorite thing to do in Colorado: Run lots of miles all over town! I also love to ride horses, hike, cook, and eat (especially dessert).

Why Vaccinate: Vaccination definitely gives the most bang for your buck in terms of personal health decisions we can make as individuals. Unlike many other important disease prevention health behaviors (like diet, exercise, and daily medication) that take up a lot of time and energy, vaccination offers prolonged, strong protection from many diseases after only one or two quick clinic visits. It's also one of the only health behaviors whose benefits compound the more individuals engage in it, meaning that the more people who get vaccinated, the more protection entire communities have from preventable diseases.