The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Organization connects women in healthcare

Photo by Provided

Aggie Sisters in Healthcare was created by Olivia Tomasco, Class of 2016, after she saw a need for a women’s healthcare organization at Texas A&M. 

With women comprising 74.9 percent of the healthcare workforce according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, one Texas A&M student saw an opportunity to bring together Aggie women looking to enter this field.
Aggie Sisters in Healthcare (ASH) is the only women’s healthcare organization at Texas A&M. Founder Olivia Tomasco, Class of 2016, said she created the organization in 2015 out of a lack of an all women’s healthcare organization on campus.
“I wanted to be a part of an organization that could build strong friendships with other students pursuing similar interests and provide mentorship and support to students taking on these grueling and sometimes very stressful pre-health majors,” Tomasco said. “Since women tend to be underrepresented in some fields of healthcare, I also wanted something that empowered and supported Aggie women with the hopes of going into these competitive fields.”
Tomasco said the process of starting her own organization was time consuming, but with the help of fellow officers and the passion everyone involved had, it became a smoother process.
“We attended a session for people hoping to start a new organization at A&M in Koldus and just followed the process Student Activities had outlined for us,” Tomasco said. “The hardest part logistically of becoming official is writing the constitution and coming up with rules and policies you may not have thought about like, deciding what the process of picking the next officers would be for the following year and disciplinary rules.”
In addition to writing the constitution, Tomasco said the organization had to overcome many hurdles before ASH took off.
“We did not have the benefit of utilizing campus the way officially-recognized organizations can while we were still in the process of starting up,” Tomasco said. “We could not reserve rooms on-campus so, we held informational sessions on the lawn of the George Bush Library to talk about our plans and nearly 400 women had joined our prospective members Facebook group or contacted us in another way to show their interest.”
Andie Edwards, allied health senior and current president of ASH, joined when the organization first started and said it has grown monumentally in the path Tomasco set.
“It’s grown a lot,” Edwards said. “We are at about 132 members right now and seven subcommittees and the girls are divided in them based on what professional school they will be applying to.”
The seven committees are nursing, medical, veterinary, pharmacy, dental, therapy and physician assistants. In addition to meetings and being in subcommittees, members also have the opportunity to volunteer within the community, including events like playing bingo at a nursing homes and making blankets for hospital patients.
Madison Goolsby, allied health senior and member of the therapy subcommittee, said ASH gave her an opportunity to further explore the areas of healthcare she is going to be looking into in the future and allowed her to network with women who share a similar similar passion.
“I love how they have so many different opportunities for everyone,” Goolsby said. “They plan plenty of volunteer opportunities around the Brazos Valley and it’s awesome to go and help through ASH and represent Texas A&M. The workforce is getting so competitive in healthcare and it’s refreshing to be around my subcommittee, Therapy, and have girls that care for you … It’s encouraging to continue to work hard in your studies and remember what you have to look forward to.”
Krista Bassani, psychology senior and ASH member said organizations such as ASH help bring women in healthcare together and uplift each other.
“While it has gotten better over the last view decades, it is still a struggle for women to be respected in the healthcare field,” Bassani said. “This organization brings together women so we can support each other and build each other up instead of competing or adding to the struggle.”
Tomasco said advice she would give women looking to go into difficult professions would be to find what you are passionate about and keep pursuing your goals with that passion in mind, despite any obstacles that might come along.
“It is hard to stay on hundred percent confident one hundred percent of the time in an ambitious career path like this and sometimes the goal feels far away, but you just have to find a way to put it in perspective,” Tomasco said. “Whenever I worry that it has taken me so long to achieve my goal of becoming a physician, I just remind myself of the obstacles I faced in the beginning that once seemed insurmountable and I tell myself, ‘You’ll either be 40 one day, or be 40 and a doctor one day, but you’ll still turn 40.’”

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