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Manager of Community Relations and Community Benefits, Baystate Health, age 32
It’s called the Pioneer Valley Community Health Needs Assessment Coalition.
That’s the name given to an initiative involving a number of area hospitals — Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, Baystate Medical Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Holyoke Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, and Shriners Hospital for Children — that constitutes an imaginative response to state and federal directives requiring such facilities to compile comprehensive needs assessments involving the cities and towns they serve every three years.
And it was Annamarie Golden, in her capacity as manager of Community Relations and Community Benefits at Baystate Health, who saw the need for, and the benefits to be derived from, such a coalition, and actively engaged administrators at partnering institutions to make it reality.
“Many hospitals do not have dedicated community-benefits staff, and we don’t have a lot of resources lying around for this,” she said. “I looked at the region as a whole and said, ‘we have a lot of hospitals, and our service areas overlap, so let’s come together for the benefit of the community and the patients we serve and do a regional needs assessment.’”
Creation of the coalition is one of many undertakings Golden has led in her position at Baystate, which involves ensuring that federal and state community-benefit regulations and guidelines are met, and that community members are engaged and included in such efforts.
In addition to her professional duties, Golden is also involved in the community through work with the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, which she serves as clerk and executive committee member, and as a strong supporter of the Western Mass. transgender and gay community.
And she’s passionate about another issue — the matter of work/life balance.
As the mother of two, including a 6-month-old, she said she’s keenly aware of the challenges facing people as they try to manage both a family and a career. At Baystate, she’s one of a group of employees working to create a support network that would assist such individuals.
“I’m working with HR to start a group right now, and hopefully we can create a model that can be replicated throughout the organization,” she explained. “There is a definite need for such a program — there are many working mothers who need some support.”
— George O’Brien