Page 48 - BusinessWest May 2, 2022
P. 48

     Sasha Jiménez has performed plenty of jobs in
her life — gas-station cashier, summer-programs facilitator, teacher of English and science, just to name a few — but her current role may be closest to her heart.
As the Community Outreach manager for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Jiménez provides resources to organizations across the Commonwealth and connects them to referral partners. She also gives presentations at schools and other venues and is the team lead for the organization’s HIV-prevention plan.
Her interest in this area was sparked as a freshman at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School. “I was exposed to such a broad range of topics, one of them being sexual reproductive health — not just the disparities that existed, but also the atrocities done to Puerto Rican women and Nicaraguan women, and how important sexual reproductive health is to marginalized communities,” she explained. “I’ve been passionate about it ever since.”
Even while teaching at Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, she’d bring in Tapestry to give workshops on consent, and coordinated a donation drive to make menstrual products available and easily accessible at area high schools and homeless shelters.
Her daughter has been another source of her passion. “I’m trying to build a place where she can access something as basic as menstrual products or birth control or a Pap smear or chest exam. Part of my
A 2 4 2022
Sina Holloman
Chief Executive Officer, HomeCare Hands; Age 38
One of Sina Holloman’s favorite quotes is “I didn’t have a mentor, so I want to be
“fortune favors the bold.” But she adds to it, “once you receive that fortune, social responsibility becomes your mission.”
After starting with a single client, Holloman’s HomeCare Hands provides in-home caregiving throughout Western Mass., Connecticut, and even into Boston.
Originally trained as a nurse, she enjoyed working with seniors and began researching how to turn her passion into a business. Now celebrating its seventh anniversary, HomeCare Hands has always found ways to expand
to meet client needs. Originally providing homecare and personal aides, the business added a transportation division to help clients get to appointments. During the pandemic, the company created a staffing agency to help medical facilities find workers. This
year, HomeCare Hands opened an education division to train future home health aides and personal-care assistants.
Along the way, Holloman has always been eager to learn, and joined a business mentoring group.
“I was hoping to be a mentee, but they asked me to be a mentor,” she said. “It was a great experience because it helped me grow as a person and as a businesswoman.”
Now in demand as a speaker for groups and conferences, Holloman enjoys sharing all that she’s learned.
profession is making sure this work continues — not only for my daughter, but so all women have access to sexual reproductive health.”
Active in the community, Jiménez was instrumental in the passing of the Paris Agreement Declaration 4.0, signed by Mayor Domenic Sarno, designating Springfield as a Fast Track City committed to HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness initiatives.
Jimenez, who has earned degrees at Springfield Technical Community College, Smith College, and UMass Amherst, has also helped Putnam students access extracurricular opportunities for college readiness and improved MCAS scores through social and emotional learning; supported Inclusive Strategies and its goal of addressing systemic racism statewide; organized and advocated for political candidates; and worked with domestic-violence survivors at the YWCA while providing support with housing, employment, and other social determinants of health.
That role at the YWCA, in particular, opened Jiménez’s eyes to health disparities among women, especially in regard to intimate-partner violence, HIV prevention, and substance-use disorder, she said.
And as for all those other jobs in her past? They’re all important on her journey to the critical work she’s doing today, she said. “It’s always OK to be passionate and pursue something else and follow whatever feeds your soul.”
— Joseph Bednar
there for others,” she said. “I tell them, ‘as long as you show up, have grit and patience, you can do this.’”
Holloman created the Humble Heroes Foundation to recognize everyday caregivers, the people who quietly care for a loved one or a neighbor. While many organizations support the afflicted person, she noted, those providing care are often overlooked.
“We want to take the people who are always in the back and bring them forward,” she went on. “We want to let them know we appreciate them and we see them.”
The recognition involves granting any kind of wish the caregiver might have as well
as free care from HomeCare Hands. While Holloman thought the requests would be
for exotic vacations, instead they were for simpler things like spa days and going out for dinner. “It was humbling to see what people actually wanted and what made them feel good.”
Now with more than 200 employees
and growing, Holloman sees it as her responsibility to keep making bold moves for her clients and community.
“We’re in the business of people,” she said. “They need us, and they can’t wait.”
— Mark Morris
  Sasha Jiménez
Community Outreach Specialist,
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts; Age 31

   46   47   48   49   50