How are you involved in the community and what motivates you to engage?
In my position as the Director of Community Health Benefits at Saint Anne’s Hospital, I work in partnership with community organizations to address the health needs of the populations served. The very nature of my work requires active community engagement such as my current role as Chairperson of the Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community.
Being a leader on a community-based action committee/coalition provides me with an informed perspective for aligning the resources of the Hospital with the real-time health needs of the community.
Community engagement is also something I have developed over time. Since coming to work at Saint Anne’s in 2002, I have made community involvement a professional priority. As a complete outsider to the Greater Fall River area, I began my community outreach as a health promotion guest speaker at any and all events, agencies and/or service organizations. I also volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce on the Ambassador or New Member Committee. Becoming more acquainted with Fall River community and its leaders, I was asked to represent Saint Anne’s in the Rotary Club of Fall River (2003). Soon after being elected to its Board of Directors, I began the climb up the leadership ladder serving as the Club’s President in 2010. To this day, I remain an active Rotarian, committed to living the motto, “Service Above Self.”
Early on in my Saint Anne’s career, I had the opportunity to serve for two consecutive years as the Loaned Executive to the Greater Fall River United Way where I truly began to understand the unique needs of the community – and quickly learned that I could make a difference. I also served on the Board of Directors for the Fall River YMCA just before and during the beginning stages of its affiliation with YMCA SouthCoast. This proved to be a very valuable learning experience in how to ensure that a long- time service organization remain vibrant and relevant to the community it serves. I was able to expand my community engagement and network of relationships to a regional level after participating in Leadership SouthCoast, completing the program with the Class of 2009.
All of this leads to the professional I am today – engaged in the health improvement of the community I am privileged to serve.
What did you find most valuable about the LSC experience and how did it contribute to your community leadership?
Participation in Leadership SouthCoast was the catalyst to expanding my community engagement from somewhat Fall River-centric to a more regional level, both in awareness of community needs and assets and in the development of professional relationships.
A salient and current example of this would be my recent work with Jennifer Downing, Executive Director of LSC, on the content and agenda of Public Health Day for the LSC Class of 2017. Jennifer and I were fellow LSC classmates; and because of this shared leadership experience, we became part of a larger network of professional relationships that support and encourage innovative collaboration and resource sharing.
Describe your leadership in one word.