This week, the Washtenaw Health Plan loses a valued staff person. Haley Haddad is going to graduate school (University of Michigan School of Public Health)! Both in the office and out in the community, we are going to miss her!
Haley started at the WHP as an AmeriCorps member in January 2012, part of a special AmeriCorps program, run through the United Ways of Michigan, and focused on enrollment into public benefits programs. Haley did outreach at food pantries, farmers' markets, clinics and resource centers throughout Washtenaw County. She was the first person in our office to brave using the online MIBridges system, which is now the primary online system for all types of public beneftis in Michigan. Haley paved the way for the three AmeriCorps members that followed her. In that year, the WHP earned a "Super Site" award from Americorps because of her work.
Haley also earned the 2012 Barrier Buster "Newbie Buster" Award, in recognition of her contributions to the countywide Barrier Buster network.
After completing her Americorps service, Haley continued as a staff member of the WHP. She helped get CareNet, a case management network, started, and when Coverage Counts, a large federal grant through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services, came along, Haley's impact grew. The grant project was focused on two counties--Washtenaw and Livingston--and at the outset the WHP had no presence in Livingston County. Haley began our Livingston County presence with "Walk-in Wednesdays" and community outreach, and her enthusiasm was infectious. As the grant drew to a close, she worked to train Livingston County Department of Public Health staff members, who are now able to assist the Livingston County community on their own.
Haley is a key reason that we have a Get Covered campaign, involving billboards, bus advertising, t-shirts, and the color orange.
Haley said to me, yesterday, when packing up some mementos from clients, "These will help me remember--we do this work to affect the lives of real people!"
So that's how it goes--Haley is the type of person who gets something started, and improves things in a way that allows them to continue. We will miss her, but armed with a new public health degree, we are pretty sure that she will be able to have even more of an impact on our world. Thanks, Haley, and Good Luck!