Disease prevention, health care important to Jaime Hoebeke
MANCHESTER — Jaime Hoebeke secured a competitive federal grant and helped convince community groups to pool their talent and resources to focus to on residents’ health needs.
“Jaime’s leadership in the development of our neighborhood health improvement strategy was critical to helping define a broad plan on how to improve the health of Manchester residents,” Public Health Director Tim Soucy said.
Hoebeke, division head of chronic disease prevention and neighborhood health, secured a nearly $800,000 federal grant, one of only three in the country, that will allow for the hiring of a community health worker at each of three schools: Gossler Park, Beech Street and Bakersville elementary schools. A fourth one could be added the following year.
The community health workers would serve as “connectors,” linking parents and residents with health and fitness programs in the neighborhood, Hoebeke said.
“They would be people to go to, to navigate community resources,” such as getting help filling out paperwork, she said.
A community health nurse also will meet with expecting mothers to “ensure they have a healthy pregnancy first and foremost and have the tools and skills for caregiving,” she said.
Hoebeke already has spent the past two years helping organize a blueprint and getting community groups to pool their efforts “for collective impact” in the selected neighborhoods.
“What we’re trying to do is not just take a program perspective but really think about systems and institutional policy changes that will provide the hand-up and not just the handout, which I think is the trickiest part of this work,” she said.
What does she find most rewarding about her job?
“Getting out into the neighborhoods and really talking with people and working hand-in-hand is really what keeps me interested in this work,” Hoebeke said.
Said Soucy: “Jaime is a great communicator, has a tremendous amount of passion for what she does and is able to sort of relate to all segments of society. Those have been real important to her success.”