Breaking barriers in healthcare that is what soon-to-be University of Arizona honors graduate Ivana Klymko is hoping to do with her dual degree in Spanish and physiology and medical sciences.

Klymko is a first-generation college student whose parents immigrated from Argentina. She says her parents came to the U.S. to pursue a better life for their family and she feels she is living the American Dream.

Her honors thesis project was all about creating bilingual educational materials to help promote women’s health topics.

Klymko has volunteered with Clinica Amistad since February of 2021, a free health clinic that helps serve Tucson’s low-income community.

A crucial part of your education is kind of coming back to the community that gave you so much and the opportunity to do everything,” Klymko said. “I’ve had so many opportunities here and I think it’d be really cool to give back to the community that allowed me to do all those things.

Her inspiration behind the mission is her grandmother who had health issues as Ivana was growing up. She says at a young age she knew she wanted to help make a difference.

“The impact that healthcare had in her life, I think was really influential to me,” Klymko said, “because I’ve always had to think about it to you know, like, where did this passion come from? I think really seeing that and and seeing how much she was able to benefit from health care.”

Aside from the language barrier, Ivana recognizes a cultural barrier that she hopes more people are able to adapt to. 

Ivanas ultimate goal is for female medical patients to have an equal opportunity and the proper education to understand their own personal health care without facing obstacles. 

She currently works as an EMT and will attend medical school at the U of A next fall.