The North Carolina Community Health Center Association Awards Program was initiated in 2002, and over the years has paid tribute to many outstanding leaders from North Carolina’s community health centers and partners.
The recipient of the following award is announced during the annual East Coast Migrant Stream Forum.
Steve Shore Community Catalyst Award
In 2003, the North Carolina Community Health Center Association (NCCHCA), celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. To commemorate this important milestone, NCCHCA chose to recognize its migrant health legacy through the creation of the annual Steve Shore Community Catalyst Award. Steve Shore was the second Executive Director of NCCHCA, serving in the position for eleven years from 1987 to 1998. It was under his leadership that NCCHCA initiated several important migrant health activities, including the first East Coast Migrant Stream Forum.
As a tribute to Steve Shore and his commitment to improving the health and well-being of farmworkers, NCCHCA honors the legacies of others who share this same vision through the Steve Shore Community Catalyst Award. Each year, through a nomination and selection process, NCCHCA identifies an individual or one organization involved in farmworker health, whose work has incited positive change in the health and wellness of farmworkers and demonstrates
- First, Awareness - Works to identify and raise awareness in the community about the health and lives of farmworkers and their families.
- Second Advocacy - Promotes and advocates for policy and practices that improve the health and access to health care for farmworkers and their families.
- Leadership: Leads and influences issues affecting the health of farmworkers and their families and inspires excellence in others.
- Last, Partnership: Partners with other advocates and agencies in the community on initiatives that aim to enhance the health and lives of farmworkers and their families.
This year, the Steve Shore Community Catalyst award goes to Karin Hoffman, Director of Migrant and Hispanic Outreach of Rural Medical Services in Parrottsville, Tennessee.
Karin directs an outreach program which has existed in Eastern TN for over 25 years and each summer serves migratory tomato workers from Florida and Georgia as well as serves the substantial population of seasonal families working in tobacco and tomatoes. She joined the program nine years ago after being a Peace Corps volunteer.
Karin has been especially effective in creating partnerships both within her organization and with outside partners which promote innovation within her program. She oversees a promotor program which promotes women’s and prenatal health. She partners strongly with Migrant Head Start and the Department of Social Services on screenings for migrant children as well as coordination of Medicaid enrollment. She regularly hosts student interns from East Tennessee State University and partners with researchers there on reducing pesticide exposure, musculoskeletal stress, and heat stress for tomato workers in the fields. Other collaborations include churches, the local Substance Abuse Coalition, and the National Center for Farmworker Health Call for Health program which she uses to fund emergency dental care and surgery.
As Karin’s co-workers say about her, “Karin has strong and natural leadership qualities. She is the kind of person who always advocates for the patient.”
Recipients of the Following Awards are Announced During the Annual
North Carolina Primary Care Conference
Robert J. Greczyn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award
NCCHCA is excited to continue our partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina celebrating the Robert J. Greczyn, Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award. Now in the 6th year of a 10 year commitment, this award honors a community health center professional who excels in service to his or her fellow North Carolinians.
2016 Award Recipient: Reuben Blackwell, OIC Family Medical Center
The Robert J. Greczyn Jr. Community Health Center Leadership Award honors a health center professional excelling in service to his or her fellow North Carolinians. The recipient will be presented with a commissioned vase handcrafted by renowned North Carolina potter Ben Owen III along with a $25,000 unrestricted grant that will go toward advancing the work of their community health center.
OIC has successfully transitioned from a private medical office, rural clinic, FQHC look-alike to ultimately receiving full FQHC designation in June 2012. Reuben Blackwell has guided the organization’s growth from 1 site to multiple locations with new services lines. Within 2 and half years, OIC was able to provide services such and dental, behavioral health, primary medical and pharmacy. Reuben’s vision for the future of public health is for everyone to have access to quality health care despite social determinants they may face
View Past Greczyn Award Recipients >>
Health Center Advocate Award
Begun in 2014, the NCCHCA Health Center Advocate Award is given to an individual who consistently and passionately engages health center staff, health center board members, community groups and others in grassroots advocacy and education to promote and protect the Health Center Program in NC. Candidates for the Health Center Advocate of the Year Award can be health center staff or board members who demonstrate a commitment to social justice and civic engagement.
2015 Award Recipient: Althea Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, MedNorth Community Health Center
Althea Johnson has been a part of the Health Center Movement for over 20 years and has led the charge in bringing together safety net providers in New Hanover County to come together and prevent duplication of services. She has provided advocacy for the uninsured and underinsured, fought tirelessly to get additional support for the homeless and has connected business and other community partners to rally around increasing access to care. She also coordinates MedNorth’s annual Rock the Block Community Health Fair that brings together community partners, residents, patients and others to increase awareness of health care and building healthier communities.
View Past Advocate Award Recipients >>
Association Contribution Award
This award is given to an individual or organization that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. Enhancement may come in the areas of program development, improving financial status, improving relations with organizations, or in assistance to Association members.
View Past Contribution Award Recipients >>