Chatham County Manager’s Office Policy Analyst, Alliance Equity Subcommittee Member, Alliance Poverty Subcommittee Member, Alliance Community Resource Hub Project Team Member
Stephanie was selected as the August 2020 Alliance Member Spotlight for her dedication to the mission and vision of the Alliance, to the community, and tireless work on the Chatham Resource Hub and Alliance Membership Form.
“Being in the Alliance and engaging in projects like the Community Resource Hub is why I got into public service. The Alliance provides a structure that pushes us out of our silos, gives us space to collaborate, and serve our community as effectively as possible. Because of the Alliance structure and mission, jumping into creative and collaborative service delivery during COVID19 has been both fruitful and natural.” -Stephanie Watkins-Cruz
Child Victim Services Program Director, Alliance Equity Subcommittee Member, Alliance Community Drive Project Team Member
Anne was selected as the August 2020 Alliance Member Spotlight for her tremendous efforts in making the Alliance Community Mask Drive a success, dedication to the Alliance and the Chatham Community, and her commitment to the health and wellbeing of the community.
“The Alliance is a great example of what I love about Chatham County! A way to coordinate services and collaborate effectively for the public good! The Alliance gives me opportunities promote social justice and advocate for vulnerable populations by participating in things like the Mask Drive which has gotten homemade masks to at risk populations, and the Equity Subcommittee that is doing amazing work that I am proud to be a small part of.” -Anne Chapman
AUGUST 2020 ALLIANCE MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS
Program Specialist with Insight Human Services, Alliance Poverty Subcommittee Member, Alliance Community Resource Hub Project Team Member
Sara Martin has taken the initiative on many Alliance projects, including facilitating and driving the work of the Education Working Group of the Poverty Subcommittee and being one of the original project team members for the Chatham Community Resource Hub. Sara's dedication to the community and the Alliance has helped keep many initiatives moving forward during the pandemic.
In her role with Insight Human Services, Sara implements substance misuse prevention programs in Chatham County. She also works as a member of Chatham Drug Free, the Sheriff’s Prevention Partnership, and other community coalitions. She works with the schools to implement evidence based prevention curriculum in the classrooms, and also educates community members on safe medication storage and disposal methods. She serves on the Board of Communities in Schools and is a member of the Advisory Committee for Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity.
"I have been so thankful that I’ve been able to get involved in the Health Alliance and work with such a dedicated, thoughtful, intelligent group of people from across multiple sectors who I am constantly learning from. The collaborations I have been a part of have given me so many opportunities not only to further my own professional development, but to serve the community in creative ways while making some wonderful friends in the process!"
Poverty Subcommittee Member, Obesity Subcommittee Member, Alliance Community Resource Hub Project Team Member
Victoria Brewer has been a member of the Community Resource Hub planning tea, and her dedication to the project has helped it grow and expand to new locations around the County. She is also a core member of the Nutrition working group of the Obesity Subcommittee. In that working group she helped develop the strategic plan and move many amazing project forward.
Victoria graduated from NCSU with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science, Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Health. She began working in Chatham County in 2014 at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington Village, where she served as a Wellness Coordinator, as well as a Resident Life Coordinator for independent living. She joined the Extension office in May 2018 as the Administrative Assistant, and transitioned into the 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent role in April 2019.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Chatham Health Alliance, serving on the Obesity Subcommittee, Poverty Subcommittee, and Chatham Community Resources Hub. These opportunities have allowed me to make lasting impacts in areas that I am very passionate about—nutrition, education, and serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The work we have accomplished, as well as the members of these groups, have been a highlight of my career since joining the Extension office." -Victoria Brewer
OCTOBER 2020 ALLIANCE MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS
Program Manager for Community Health, UNC Health Alliance
Chatham Health Alliance Member, Chatham Food Hub Coordinator
Eleanor Wertman and her Community Health team work to address the non-clinical barriers (often referred to as social determinants of health) that prevent patients and communities from achieving their best possible health. Her team provides resource coordination assistance, transportation services, and mobile COVID testing and vaccination services across multiple counties. From April through October of 2020, Eleanor founded and led the Chatham Food Hub, a collaborative effort to increase sales for local businesses while also providing food to low-income Chatham County residents.
“Working in healthcare, it can often be difficult to collaborate directly with the many nonclinical groups that are also focused on health promotion. However, we must foster strong community partnerships to deliver better, more patient-centered care and improve health at both the individual and community levels. I am grateful to be a part of the Chatham Health Alliance so I can better understand the strengths, priorities, and needs of the patients and communities we serve (and, hopefully, offer some transparency into the inner workings of our healthcare system!).” -Eleanor Wertman
Youth Leadership Program Manager, El Vínculo Hispano/ The Hispanic Liaison
Member of the Chatham Health Alliance Resilience Subcommittee and Education Working Group
Selina is originally from Mexico but immigrated to Vaughn, North Carolina with her parents when she was a child and became a US citizen in 2016. Selina completed high school at the School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, and in 2017 graduated as a first-generation college student from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in Psychology and Hispanic Literature and Cultures. Since July 2017, Selina has been the Youth Leadership Program Manager for El Vínculo Hispano/ The Hispanic Liaison where she created and launched the Orgullo Latinx Pride (OLP) youth program, offering year-round services to Latinx high school youth at Jordan Matthews High School . Selina manages and facilitates all activities regarding Orgullo Latinx Pride and works directly with the 30 youth currently enrolled in the program.
“What an awesome opportunity it has been to work with the Chatham County Health Alliance! Not only have I gotten to know some of Chatham’s most cool and impactful community leaders but this experience has allowed me to work on empowering youth in collaboration with other amazing organizations. The Health Alliance is a space that has allowed me to work towards youth empowerment and promote equity and social justice through the creation of the Youth Council. “ - Selina Lopez
FEBRUARY 2021 ALLIANCE MEMBER SPOTLIGHTS
Family Advocate, Communities in Schools
Chatham Health Alliance Resource Hub Project Team Member
It has long been said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Twenty years ago, it was necessary for Maria Soto to become a very inventive mother in order to successfully advocate for her own child’s individual needs within the school system. It wasn’t long before friends and neighbors began to come to Maria seeking her help for their children…and she found herself set upon a lifetime path of family advocacy.
Having joined the agency in 2006, Maria coordinated the Hablando Claro/Plain Talk Program. She continues to serve Chatham’s Latino community in her role as Family Advocate, combining her passion for its mission with generous helpings of patience and persistence.
"Working with the Alliance has been a great way to 'bridge the gap' - connecting available resources to the families who are in need of those supports. Utilizing the Alliance's network of caring community members has enabled us to deepen critical relationships with community members, build trust, and discover new opportunities for meaningful collaboration. We look to the Alliance as a connection point for this collaboration, and are excited about building on some of the successes we have shared together in recent weeks! Thanks to the Chatham Health Alliance and their active partners for all of the efforts to make a positive impact on the lives of many of our County's most vulnerable youth and families." -Maria Soto
Director, Chatham Health Alliance
Chatham Health Alliance Obesity Subcommittee Member, Student Health Advisory Committee, Haw River Steering Committee, Recreation Advisory Committee
Tracy is a native of Chatham County, born and raised in Bear Creek Southwest part of Chatham County. Tracy has been with the County for 29 years as the director of Parks and Recreation. When she started, Chatham County had one park. Today there are five. Under her leadership, the county opened Southwest District Park, Northeast District Park and The Park at Briar Chapel, renovated Northwest District Park and set aside 268 acres for future parks with one area located in Moncure. She also led the expansion of 4.6 miles of the American Tobacco Trail in Chatham and made improvements to 15-501 Canoe Access, Hwy 64 Canoe Access and South Bynum River Access (aka Bynum Beach Canoe Access). Open space, trails, greenways and blueways are a big part of the county and she completed the Brooks Creek trail corridor study and help create a Haw River Trail Committee. Just currently, she opened the County’s first community center located in north Chatham County.
“I am thankful to have the opportunity to be involved with the Chatham Health Alliance. The opportunity to collaborate with other agencies and departments in the Alliance to serve the community has been very impactful. I am always impressed how the Alliance finds creative ways to serve the community. I serve on the Obesity Subcommittee and I am always excited about the energy and passion from the members.” - Tracy Burnett