Doug Smith, Paula Grant, and Steve Davis: November 2014 Outstanding Advocates

NACHC’s advocacy team is excited to announce the Outstanding Advocates for November 2014, Doug Smith, Paula Grant, and Steve Davis from Greene County Health Care in Snow Hill, NC!

At the end of September, Representative G.K. Butterfield joined 249 other members of the House and signed on to the Health Center Funding Cliff letter. On October 21, he met with Greene County Health Care CEO Doug Smith, and was presented with nearly 7,000 petition signatures and nearly 40 local support letters as part of NACHC’s Access is the Answer campaign. Who is responsible for successfully engaging so many patients, Health Center staff, and community members around advocacy in North Carolina’s first district and garnering Rep. Butterfield’s support? Doug will gladly tell you it’s two stellar members of his staff: Paula Grant, Director of Medical Office Operations, and Steve Davis, Greene County’s Outreach Director.

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CEO Doug Smith (center) meets with Rep. G.K. Butterfield (left) in October to deliver Greene County’s 7,000 petition signatures and 40 local support letters.

Paula and Steve have been quite successful in their efforts to engage patients and the community at large around Access is the Answer, and are an amazing example of how teamwork is crucial to getting things done in advocacy. “They galvanized the front offices and the outreach staff to collect signatures from our patients,” Doug said. When Outreach & Enrollment staff ventured outside the walls of the Health Center, they found people were willing and eager to help out. Doug recognizes that, in general, the community “wants to be supportive [of Greene County Health Care] and the petition was a relatively simple way for people to participate—that’s what grassroots advocacy is all about.” Paula and Steve have done an outstanding job of capturing peoples’ willingness to participate in advocacy- the approximately 7,000 signatures and 40 local support letters represent the support of over 20% of the more than 30,000 patients served by Greene County through their medical, dental, family therapy, and outreach services.

Not only did Paula and Steve seek out grassroots support at the ground level by reaching out to patients and community members, but Greene County staff were also encouraged to get involved. Access is the Answer was discussed at the center’s management meetings. In this case, to be truly successful required commitment, prioritization, and a group effort. Doug Smith takes pride in the fact that “all we do is done in teams.” The work that Paula and Steve have done to engage folks at various levels and meet people where they are speaks to the true nature of grassroots advocacy. It is also an excellent example of how a team approach to advocacy at Health Centers is a recipe for success!

Congratulations, Doug, Paula, and Steve for being our November Outstanding Advocates! And thanks for all your hard work to make the Access is the Answer campaign a success!

For more information and resources on how to create an advocacy team at your Health Center, click here. Do you know an Outstanding Advocate who deserves this recognition? Let us know! Email Elizabeth Kwasnik at ekwasnik@nachc.org.

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