Employee Spotlight: Sara Lewis, MCH Program Manager for Centralized Intake, CCP

Sara Lewis, who joined HealthCare Access Maryland’s (HCAM) team in January 2022, currently serves as the Maternal Child Health Program Manager for Centralized Intake. Sara has a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and has participated in the Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program at the University of Baltimore.  

Prior to working with HCAM, Sara was the State Fetal & Infant Mortality Review (FIMR) and Child Fatality Review (CFR) Coordinator at the Maryland Health Department and advised all 24 of the States’ CFR teams, as well as their 9 FIMR teams, in addition to serving as the state CHAMP coordinator (Child Abuse Medical Providers). Before moving home to Maryland, Sara worked at the B’More for Healthy Babies (BHB) equivalent in Essex County New Jersey and served as the lead staffer for Early Childhood and Infant Mental Health Initiatives within their Centralized Intake system. 

Sara Lewis, Maternal Child Health Program Manager for Centralized Intake

As MCH Program Manager, Sara is responsible for supervising the work of the MCH Initiatives Team (HCAM’s Community Health Advocates, MCH Laision, and the Safe Sleep Program) while overseeing the operation of the BHB’s Centralized Intake system. This Centralized Intake model ensures optimized care coordination for pregnant and postpartum people and their children by connecting them to all of the rich resources available in Baltimore to impact social determinants of health. As part of Sara’s role, she co-facilitates the BHB BabyStats meeting which brings together all of the Home Visiting programs and other partners to share data and resources. She also represents HCAM at Baltimore City Health Department FIMR, CFR, and MMR meetings, as well as BHB Core Implementation Meetings. On top of that, she works together with HCAM’s Judy Center partners to ensure that the CHA team are working effectively in the community connecting hard to engage clients with HCAM’s care coordination system and reaching those at greatest risk of having a poor birth outcome.  

Since joining HCAM, Sara has shared that she has grown tremendously in her understanding of the HealthChoice/ACCU systems and how Medicaid drives public health service delivery. “Maternal and Child Health has always been my public health focus, and since joining the ACCU side of MCH care delivery, I have learned so much about how Medicaid innovation leads to population health improvements, and I’ve gained greater clarity on how to truly achieve change for pregnant and postpartum people.”  

We asked Sara a few questions to get a better understanding of her accomplishments at HCAM, her connection to HCAM’s mission, and what makes HCAM stand out from other employers.  

What are you most proud of in terms of your accomplishments at HCAM?
I am so proud of many things, but the two successes I am most proud of are that our two-person Safe Sleep team provided education and a safe sleep environment to nearly 350 clients in FY23, reducing the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) for that many infants. I am also tremendously proud of the work of the CHA team, who have demonstrably reduced the risk of preterm delivery by 25% for their clients who received care coordination. I know that because of the work that these team do every day, we are absolutely saving the lives of babies in Baltimore City. 

What part of HCAM’s mission of making Maryland healthier stands out most to you?
What resonates with me is our mission to advocate for a more equitable health care system. To me, that is the most essential part of my work and is my reason for being a part of HCAM. When I joined HCAM, I was at a point in my career where I needed to see the impact that my work was having firsthand while also being able to influence policy and programming in a meaningful way. I appreciate that I get to see how my daily efforts contribute to a more equitable, healthier world for everyone. 

What makes HCAM stand out from other employers and places you have worked before?
There are so many things that stand out from other non-profits I’ve worked for in this field. The main difference is the focus I see on professional growth for our staff. Developing leaders from within the agency is not the norm within the non-profit field, and for most professionals, you must leave agencies to grow your career. One of the things I appreciated the moment I first started speaking to HCAM leaders was hearing how many of them began their careers with HCAM and have grown into so many of our leadership roles. People don’t stagnate here- they are always pushing forward because there is an upward trajectory available. 

What do you enjoy most about working at HCAM?
I value how wonderful the team is- there is such an amazing sense of camaraderie and spirit of support and encouragement. It goes without saying that the work we do is immensely valuable and it’s really wonderful to work for an organization where every single person is motivated by a shared passion for improving the lives of other people. I learn so much from my colleagues on a daily base and appreciate the coaching and mentorship that is always available to me from other leaders, as well as the fantastic outreach staff who impress me daily with their positivity and determination to make things happen for their clients. This work is never ending and can be challenging but I love what I do every day and feel appreciated and valued which makes the workload manageable. 

Interested in learning more about our employee benefits and how you can make Maryland a better place to live? Check out our current job openings: https://www.healthcareaccessmaryland.org/make-a-difference/join-our-team/  

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