As a leader and a collaborator, Olivia Grace Moore demonstrates a commitment to community building for positive social change and a particular interest in increasing access to healthcare. With a self-designed interdisciplinary major in Health Economics, Olivia Grace displays her dedication to this field not only in her academic pursuits but also in her co-curricular and professional development activities. In leadership roles with several student organizations, she has plentiful opportunity to show her interest in and genuine dedication to developing a campus culture of inclusion, tolerance, and compassion. She is also involved in research endeavors that may contribute to potential changes in healthcare policies at the state level which will increase access to healthcare for rural Arkansans. Olivia Grace recognizes her own inherent privileges while operating from a place of wanting to listen to others’ experiences and not make assumptions, an empathic spirit that comes from having what she calls an invisible disability.
As a young person with a genetic disorder, I have always been aware of the fact that my relationship with healthcare starkly contrasts that of many Arkansans, but it was not until I witnessed my parents’ struggle to find physicians to care for my family that I became cognizant of my own privilege. While I have had access to specialized care, most Arkansans must commute to Little Rock to receive even a routine checkup, lacking ambulances and general practitioners at home. This scarcity is not only grounded in an absence of doctors, but also in a lack of resources to support care and a complex insurance system. I did not want for my privilege to become a prison, so I sought an internship at Health Scope Benefits, a United Health Group company; shadowed a cardiologist; and am currently acting as the vice president of Disability Awareness Club to promote self-advocacy while directly engaging with the communities that are most heavily impacted by healthcare shortages. I am also doing research on primary care shortages in Arkansas through the ENACT Labor Network to improve rural health access by providing more direct points of contact with care for patients in rural communities.