Most Nebraskans know that Hastings is the birthplace of childhood favorite, Kool-Aid. But, in the heart of the college town, stands a beacon of health care accessibility: Mary Lanning Healthcare Community Health Center.
Betsy Herrman is CHC’s grants coordinator and community outreach educator. She’s been at CHC for seven years and, in each year, she’s seen her responsibilities change and grow.
“My position has sort of evolved over the years,” she said. “Grant writing is a small part of that. That’s only every few years. I do a lot of compliance; policies and procedures; reporting; FPAR; outreach and education. I’m the go-to person for what Title X is: making sure we’re compliant.
“That’s the part I like best: problem solving, working to develop processes that work for everybody. The whole process of CAP (Corrective Action Plans): It’s been really valuable, showing us where we can improve.”
In a year full of uncertainties, CHC was able to continue moving in an efficient, impactful manner. Strong relationships with other agencies made this possible. According to Herrman, their partnership with South Heartland District Health Department, with whom CHC shares a building, was particularly valuable. The team at CHC was able to help connect community members to information about the pandemic and assistance through the staff at South Heartland.
For Herrman, connecting the community to care is what it’s all about.
“I would love to see us getting farther out into the community. All of our outreach efforts stalled out because of covid. I really want to see us get out there.” she said.
At the end of the day, Herrman knows her work at CHC creates a lasting impact in her community.
“We’re local. We have a ton of clients who have been coming here for years. We take great care of our patients. We treat people with respect. The focus is always on the patient and doing the best for the patient.
“I feel like we’ve been around for such a long time. [Clients] don’t know what Title X is. But they know it’s given them control. Helped them have that power to control their lives.”