Stacey Austin: Thank You

We bid a bittersweet goodbye to the President of our Board, Stacey Austin, who has stepped down from her role and from Board membership for family reasons. Stacey has devoted tremendous time and effort to HealthConnect One’s Board, and her contributions have been significant.

Stacey took seriously her leadership role in building board capacity, connecting one-on-one with each board member, learning their priorities and engaging them as a group. She engaged Board members in a personal way to think about their connection to HC One and their role on our board. She also helped to set up policies and structures for our Board Committees. She grasped our mission in a very personal way.

“The saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ has become trite in many ways,” Stacey said here last year, “but that does not make the phrase any less true. I learned that raising a child starts before birth. … We have so many expectations for the children of this country — we expect them to succeed in school, to make healthy choices, to secure a good job, and to succeed at life. Yet so many children are expected to do this without that village or supportive community. It’s an injustice.”

Mairita Smiltars, most recently our Board Vice President, will now serve as Board President for the remainder of Stacey’s term. A trusted advocate, leader, and innovator, Mairita started with HealthConnect One as a consultant, joined our Associate Board, and then our Board. We are fortunate to have a strong group of active Board members who will ensure continuity of leadership during this period of change.

Please join me in wishing Stacey the best as she shifts to focus on other important priorities, and let us also congratulate and welcome Mairita into her new role.

by Rachel Abramson,
Executive Director

Rachel Abramson, RN, MS, IBCLC has worked in maternal and child health for 37 years, and is still amazed at what’s at stake during the childbearing year. Rachel has been a pediatric nurse, a postpartum nurse, a visiting nurse and an IBCLC with a private practice, and for the past 28 years, she has served as the Executive Director of HealthConnect One.

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