Healthy Start Team Member Spotlight: Lee Ann Grogan
Utilizing her extensive professional expertise and deep passion for families and women’s health, HCCSO is grateful for Lee Ann Grogan’s leadership in the Healthy Start program. We are excited to introduce her, using her own words…
-Amy Thuren, Executive Director
I’ve been with HCCSO for over three years in my role as the Healthy Start program manager. It’s my job to work directly with our federal funders (Health Resources and Services Administration—HRSA) and our community to ensure that we are meeting the goals of the Healthy Start program and improving health outcomes for parents and babies across our region.
It’s awesome to work on maternal and child health at so many levels—with the federal program, the state, our local agencies that provide services or participate in our Perinatal Task Force, and with the clients and families enrolled in our program.
It is my responsibility to make sure that our local program is working in harmony with the bigger picture goals of maternal and child health, and that our efforts are helping to make our communities healthier and stronger.
My Journey to Healthy Start
I have spent my entire career working with children and families. Prior to Healthy Start, I held all kinds of positions—I’m a trained mental health counselor, and I’ve also worked as an educator and advocate for youth and family issues in a variety of settings.
I started my career with young adults, and have worked my way backwards with younger and younger populations along the way. I believe that we all deserve to thrive and love the opportunity to provide support and care as early as possible in a young person’s life.
I love the focus of the Healthy Start program around birth and the first year of life. This is my favorite time to work with families, and — I believe — the most impactful. It is an honor to connect with families in this sacred place where they become parents and grow their families.
To help me work better with families during this special time, I’ve done additional training in Infant and Toddler Mental Health, Maternal Mental Health, and breastfeeding support.
One of the most fulfilling parts of my position is supporting the Healthy Start staff who provide services across Douglas and Josephine County. I am so proud of our team and get inspired by their passion and care every single day! They each bring something very special to the team and to the families that they serve in Southern Oregon.
My Goals for Healthy Start
Since I’ve been with HCCSO, my focus has been making the Healthy Start program stronger each year. Annually, we aim to reach 700 individual clients, provide opportunities for families to learn about caring for their new babies, and help the community learn about the challenges and opportunities that families in our region face. We do this in part through the work of the Perinatal Task Force (a collaboration with community partners and a very important part of the Healthy Start program).
Since I’ve been in my role, we have exceeded our enrollment goals and increased training for staff so they can in turn offer more classes, workshops, and individual support for clients. For example, we now have Certified Lactation Counselors at all of our Healthy Start sites!
As our program gets stronger, and the work of the Perinatal Task Force reaches more people, our communities get healthier.
Our goal moving forward is to extend our programs’ reach to support fathers and partners, too, and get parents involved in our community work. We believe in supporting the whole family, and want to be sure that family voices are heard across the region.
My ultimate goal is to see Southern Oregon leading the state with the best health outcomes for parents and babies, and I believe the work we’re doing will get us there.