Danielle Howa Pendergrass

Danielle Howa Pendergrass
Location: Price, Utah Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Addiction and Substance Abuse, Behavioral and Mental Health, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Education, Food Systems and Nutrition, Health Care Access, Health Reform, Public Policy, Public, Population and Community Health, Violence and Trauma Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Homeless Populations, Incarcerated or Formerly Incarcerated Populations, LGBTQ+ Communities, Low-Income Communities, People with Addictions, Rural Communities, Victims of Crime, Women's Health
Eastern Utah Women’s Health, LLC

Settled by immigrants, Carbon County, Utah, once boasted 54 different nationalities that worked together in coal mines and on the railroads to build our industrial community. Like many rural communities, Carbon County is disproportionally affected by health disparities, economic instability, and inequitable opportunity. In honoring our diverse history and unique social determinates of health, Danielle is working on forging collaborations and partnerships across sectors and disciplines to begin the process of breaking down silos to address the root cause of inequity. Through community capacity building and empowerment, we can create equitable and sustainable change now and for generations to come.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Advocacy for Positive Sexual Health Education in Under-resourced Rural & Urban Communities in States Prohibiting Such
The current state of sex education in the United States is inadequate and inequitable. Sexual health disparities based on sex, sexual orientation, religion, geography, race, and ethnicity are clear and alarming nationwide. It is most evident in states that do not mandate sex education in any form or those that require abstinence-only curriculum. Twenty-six states in this nation omit essential sex education from their curricula by mandating abstinence-only information. Sex-positive sexual health education is a social & reproductive justice issue. My strategic initiative focuses on under-resourced rural and urban communities in states that prohibit sex-positive sexual health education in schools. Committed partners include Utah State University Eastern, Students United for Reproductive Freedom, Queer Resource Center, Behavioral Health, SUPeRAD, Family Planning Elevated, and the Juvenile Justice Center. Ideal partners include policymakers, legislators, Medicaid, the board of education, and higher education.

Danielle is a connector and convener who enjoys bringing diverse groups together for a common cause. She brings the perspective of a women’s health nurse practitioner, business owner, and policy advocate. She forged creative solutions, partnerships, and policy changes that increased access to care to over 20,000 underserved women living in three vast rural counties.

Click here to watch Danielle’s Legacy Project video.