January Member Spotlight with Estephanie Charria


2021 has been a battlefield for reproductive justice, explicitly regarding SRH and abortion access. This month our communications director Erica DC sat down with NSRH member Estephanie Charria, R.N Clinical Research Coordinator who is based in Orlando, Florida. Estephanie has been mobilizing and creating community in our NSRH community and within her direct network. Get to know “Steph” as she covers her passions, how she celebrates, and her hopes with merging communities.

Erica: What made you want to join NSRH?

Estephanie: I just wanted to be with like-minded people. And, you know, to be more actively involved in reproductive rights and justice. At the same time, I have been considering what I can contribute with my hands with you all. NSRH is aligned with my main goal, as I recently created a group called Champions for Health Equity. Currently, the group has  34 members right now. This group is a place where we (healthcare professionals) can have open dialogues with other healthcare professionals regarding systemic racism and reproductive rights, justice, LGBTQ, queer health, disability health, etc., so we can be better. Just because our system is not inclusive of our kind people. (NSRH Disruptors) 

Erica: What is your why behind being in your choice to become a nurse? 

Estephanie: My involvement with reproductive rights and justice started way before I was even thinking about becoming a nurse. I was heavily involved with Planned Parenthood doing community organizing for them. When I was in college, one of my electives (womens’ studies) required working with an organization (I chose Planned Parenthood) and learned of all their resources around SRH and abortion access. As a person who has had an abortion (at the time unaware of Planned Parenthood), during that time, I felt isolated with no one to talk to, so I was grateful to see the work they have been doing for abortion access and the supports around that. I was relieved to be around others who have had abortions and were pro-choice. My passion stemmed from my story, telling it, and how vital these narratives are for others to hear so they know they aren’t alone. I’m currently in neuro research and have learned the importance of advocacy, specifically for SRH and reproductive justice.

Erica: What are some things you hope to do within NSRH and Champions for Health Equity?

Estephanie: Soon, I hope to start a podcast to bridge the gap of conversations around the needs of healthcare workers and patients. I want to share patient stories just so we can have a conversation together asking, What do you need from us (as healthcare professionals?) Our patients have stories that need to be heard.

Erica: Given all that’s happening around abortion rights and access, how do you feel about the long game that's ahead?

Estephanie:  I know it’s going to be a process, and I've always believed that you're going to have to go into the lane of policy and lobby specifically for abortion access and rights in actual change. It's just so difficult because it is a systemic issue. With my group Champions for Health Equity,  I love facilitating things around this matter, from conversations with my colleagues to webinars. Unfortunately, at the same time, I don't think it's enough for any systemic change to occur within our hospital or in general. 

Erica: Have there been offerings equipped for these conversations within NSRH?

Estephanie: Yes! THE SYSTEM ISN’T BROKEN AT the RJ Series Member Event in November with Zena. It’s working how it’s supposed to. I have bought her book (The Care We Deserve) and am already halfway through it. I have even reached out to Zena, and as I know, she has a background in research (the field I am currently in). I’ve been a fan since that event. It was just what I needed.

Erica: Our value for this month is to Celebrate. How do you take time to center pleasure and celebrate?

Estephanie:  I will take a day to myself. I like singing and dancing or treating myself to my favorite meal.

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