16 May 2018

Public Health Fellow Testimonial

By Brittney Frazier

“Where has the time gone?” I cannot believe this fellowship is coming to an end. As I vividly reflect, I can remember the very moment I interviewed for this position. I knew that if I was given the opportunity to serve with Allegany Franciscan Ministries I would effortlessly continue to transform the lives of those greatly in need, learn new skills that would be pertinent to my professional growth, cultivate new relationships, and ultimately work for a steadfast health system.

The Trinity Health Fellowship program is a one-year program designed to provide an educational experience for individuals who are interested in management responsibilities in nonprofit multi-unit health care systems. Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation; it serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast. Allegany Franciscan Ministries is a member of Trinity Health.

As a fellow with Trinity Health, I have been presented with enriching opportunities such as attending the National Association of Health Service Executives Annual Education Conference while also becoming a member of NAHSE. I have attended the incomparable Blue Ridge Institute Conference. Blue Ridge Institute (BRI) is unlike most professional development conferences, focusing on new perspectives and making new connections in the field of human care services. To date, my most notable experience was attending Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill with Trinity Health system leaders and the 2018 fellowship cohort. It was very empowering to engage in meaningful conversation with Congressmen and Florida State representatives about various health policy issues.

As far as my day-to-day work entails, I manage a grant program that provides funding to not-for-profit organizations focused on increasing access to health services and/or impacting health outcomes through capacity building. As a person coming from the other side of the continuum working for a government agency, it has been rewarding to now administer grant funding versus applying for grants. Contrary to popular belief, grant-making is a complex process. I’ve been told that the process is an art and a science – contrasting subjects but the assembly of the two makes the process seamless. I’ve discovered that I am more of a scientific thinker and have gradually gained the skill of thinking more abstractly while reviewing grant applications.

In addition to the grant-making responsibilities, I have enjoyed the opportunities to connect with local community leaders in our Common Good Initiative communities. It has been a valuable experience supporting Allegany’s Regional Vice Presidents on special projects and taking the lead on projects that have piqued my interest. For instance, I have assisted with developing a $900,000 budget for a local Community Development Center in one of our Common Good Initiative communities. I participated in the strategic planning process for the inaugural Fellowship for the Common Good, a 12-month resident leadership development program designed to build community capacity and sustainability through enhanced community-based leadership. And, I gathered and presented information to our Common Good Council and the Board on the impacts of Social Determinants of Health and the correlation to health funder’s grant making process.

As I continue to reflect, I am so grateful to work for an amazing organization like Allegany Franciscan Ministries, an organization that stays true to its mission and values. I could not have served with a better organization and set of colleagues. My preceptor, Eileen Coogan is a powerhouse and very knowledgeable about philanthropy, community development and Catholic Social Teaching. The staff team at Allegany Franciscan Ministries have been supportive, inclusive, and so willing to teach. This fellowship has granted me exposure, allowed me to work on thought provoking projects and dared me to discover new passions.

Overall, Trinity Health and Allegany Franciscan Ministries have provided me with a strong foundation and understanding of multi-unit healthcare systems, community development, community benefits on a system level, and grant making. I look forward to growing with this organization and honing my newly developed skills.

We’re thrilled to to announce that Brittney will be staying at Allegany Franciscan Ministries at the end of her fellowship, joining our staff team as Public Health Program Specialist.