Name: Katie Nicol
City, State: Washington, D.C.
Profession: Eligibility and insurance navigation guru and fierce patient advocate
In a few words, how would you describe yourself?
I’m passionate about our work at Whitman-Walker and the privilege we have to make a difference in people’s lives. I love a good laugh. I don’t take myself too seriously. I need sunshine in my life. I’m loyal, competitive (#PBINfortheWin), and super laid back.
Your favorite hangout spots.
Anywhere my friends are, but especially somewhere with good guacamole or games.
Favorite guilty pleasure.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Grey’s Anatomy, at the same time (don’t tell anyone).
I’m not at all religious, but my lady, with her southern Catholic roots, said this to me recently and it really resonated: “Let go and let God.” There’s something cathartic about recognizing you don’t have control and allowing yourself to release your feelings into the ether.
Who is your biggest influence? And why?
My mom raised me and my brother on her own while working nights as a Correctional Officer. She instilled in me that if I work hard and be true to myself, I could do anything and go anywhere. She also taught me that if something doesn’t work out the way you planned, then find another way to make it happen; persistence and perseverance pays off in the end.
I always look forward to walking in the Capital Pride Parade with my colleagues and friends and participating in Whitman-Walker’s Walk & 5K to End HIV. These events bring our community together and remind me that I have the incredible privilege of working at Whitman-Walker Health and for the patients we serve. It all comes back to serving and representing the community I am a part of and being present for those in need.
Do you have any regrets in life?
No regrets, only life lessons.
Favorite lesbian celebrity.
Ellen DeGeneres. I remember when she came out on her show in the 90s, and though she faced harsh criticism for it, she paved the way for the rest of us by playing a part in “normalizing” the LGBTQ community for the rest of America. She’s remained true to herself and is generous to those in need. Some other favorites are Tammy Baldwin, Lily Tomlin, and Ellen Page.
Any fun facts or anything else you want our readers to know?
I have a penny collection, can juggle three basketballs, and can always be found near a pool somewhere during the summer months.