Who We Are

Co-Directors

Dio is a Blatinx Trans man wearing a navy colored button up.

Dio Aldridge

Dio Aldridge (he/él) is a Blatinx Trans man born in Limón, Costa Rica and raised in Southern California. Growing up in the household of a Baptist minister and social worker proved to be formative in shaping his passion and work in community building, engagement, education, art and poetry. Dio currently works in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the School of Art Institute of Chicago Dio holds a BA in Black Studies from UC Santa Barbara and is completing a dual masters in social work and social justice from Loyola University Chicago. Dio needs a nap but is always “woke” for community.

Email: Dio@saluscenter.org

Izze is a Latinx woman wearing a black blouse.

Isabella Copeland

Isabella "Izze" Copeland (she/hers) is a Latinx queer-joy organizer and creative who loves building community. She is the founder of Thought Club, a Lansing-based social group focused on celebrating joy through arts and culture. Izze currently works to provide resources and training for advocates working with victims of crime. She earned her bachelor's degree in Philosophy and Spanish from Northwestern University.

Email: Izze@saluscenter.org

Oprah is a Black woman wearing glasses and a dark colored sweater.

Oprah Jrenal

Oprah Jrenal (she/hers) loves Lansing and wants you to love it too. She has lived here for almost three years and still is still discovering new and excited things. Oprah works in higher education primarily at Michigan State University serving lesbian, gay, bisexual , transgender, and asexual Spartans! She earned her bachelors in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry from the University of Arizona and a masters in higher education from the University of Kansas. Oprah is pleased to share her light and love with Lansing!

Email: Oprah@saluscenter.org

Board of Directors

Lauren is a Brown woman with shaved hair. She's wearing glasses and a white blouse. There are trees behind her.

Lauren Wiklund (she/hers)

Lauren is a cisgender queer woman of color and first-generation graduate student currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her research and clinical work is committed to empowering LGBTQIA+ people of color to lead healthy and joyful lives. She is grateful to be able to serve Salus Center and the greater Lansing community as a member of the executive board.

Mikaylah Heffernan (she/hers)

Mikaylah grew up in Inkster, Michigan. A passion for public policy lead her to work in the Michigan Legislature, while her passion for equity lead her to volunteer with the Salus Center. In her free time, she speaks on LGBTQIA+ rights in Michigan, plays video games, and makes far too many edits on her half-completed novels.

Mikaylah is a white woman wearing glasses. There are bookshelves behind her.
Jimmy is a Brown man with a beard. He is wearing glasses and a blue button up.

Mauricio "Jimmy" Franco, M.S., M.D. (he/his/el)

Beyond his role in medicine, Jimmy is a writer, amateur photographer, activist, and proud to be queer and Latinx. Finding balance in his life through community work, wellness, and family has helped Jimmy sustain his commitment to achieving a career in pediatrics while also nurturing his full self. Jimmy has carved a path that centers social justice and health equity as the backbone to how he uplifts queer folks and confronts oppression.

Mercuri Rose (they/them)

Mercuri has worn a number of figurative (and literal) hats around the center over the years and they’re honored to volunteer as a board member today! Mercuri’s previous figurative hats: deeply enthused volunteer hosting Bingo and game nights (2017-19); first MSW Salus Center Intern (2018-19); part-time Salus staff as volunteer and event coordinator (2019); TRUE group facilitator with Child and Family Charities’s Gateway Division (2019-21). Mercuri is currently working to build their therapy practice at Transformative Therapy through Wild Ferns Wellness. When not working you might find them in the woods, snuggling their cat, reading queer YA fiction, or chatting around a bonfire with friends.

Mercuri is white with short brownish hair. They are wearing glasses and a green bowtie.

Staff

Linden Brown-Wren (they/theirs)

Linden lives in East Lansing and spends their time as a proud spouse and a stay at home Mapa to 3 kids. They have been with Salus Center since its opening and currently act as communications director. They are passionate about LGBTQIA+ families, youth, and general community outreach.

Linden is a white person wearing flannel. They are in a garden with their young child.
Amber is a Black person wearing glasses and a blue gingham button up.

Amber Wormsley (they/theirs)

Amber received their BS in accounting from Florida A&M University and has 10 years of accounting experience. Most of their career was spent with Fortune 500 companies and has since transitioned to help smaller companies understand their financials and implement financial processes.

Claire Leslie (they/theirs)

Claire is trilled to pour their creative energy into digital design for Salus. They plan on becoming a family therapist to work with Transgender and genderqueer youth. Most days, Claire can be found burning pancakes or reading queer books.

Claire is a white person wearing glasses and rainbow tie-dye. They are standing in front of Salus Center.
Frank is a white person with short dark hair. He is wearing glasses and a blue button up.

Frank Heveran (he/his, they/theirs)

Frank joined the Salus team as a coordinator. He spends his time outside of work playing Dungeons & Dragons, hanging out with his cat Bailey, and trying to learn banjo left handed. He’s always happy to share some of his sourdough starter (named Salamander or Sal for short).