As many of you know, Rachel Abramson, HealthConnect One’s co-founder and current executive director, announced her decision to retire at the end of June 2018. There are no words to adequately express the extraordi- nary gifts that Rachel has provided to Health- Connect One throughout her 30-year tenure. Rachel started this organization to address the dismal breastfeeding rates in Cook County. With ever-present warmth, sincerity, and compassion, Rachel’s leadership grew the Chicago Breastfeeding Task Force into HealthConnect One, with a broad intention to impact organizations, communities, and Community Health Workers (CHWs) on a national (and international!) scale.
Rachel, I thank you for your leadership and for demonstrating to the Maternal and Child Health field that listening is an active verb and the key to effective community health programming. Your example has revolutionized the strengths-based approach to this work and has emboldened women to speak up for their health and for the self-determination of their peers. And lastly, thank you for the bold vision of HealthConnect One to fight for equity in maternal and child health so that every baby, mother, and family can thrive in a healthy community.
Mairita Smiltars, Board President