Daily Point of Light # 2833 Dec 14, 2004

Jane has served as an important volunteer for the March of Dimes Connecticut chapter through the Willimantic Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, since 1990. Windham is an economically distressed municipality and is one of the top 5 poorest towns in the state. As coordinator, Jane organized local health care providers and institutions across racial/ethnic boundaries to address teen pregnancy prevention, provide community baby showers, and trainings for health care providers. For 14 years, in her statewide role as Advisory Committee member, she helped plan and execute both quarterly trainings on significant maternal/child issues and an annual conference on prenatal health, i.e. substance abuse and pregnancy.

In addition, Jane has served on the Willimantic WalkAmerica volunteer committee since 1999, mobilizing diverse community volunteers to enthusiastically raise funds, to disseminate March of Dimes folic acid, prenatal and immunization materials, and to help raise premature prevention awareness.

In 2000, she received a community grant to conduct bilingual outreach to pregnant women, and those planning pregnancies, in public housing projects, achieving 110% of project goals. By calling her initiative, Safe Pregnancy Parties, a word acceptable to community residents, and by conducting trainings in both English and Spanish, she successfully engaged teenagers and Latinas with positive self-care and birth outcome messages. Some of the parties were co-conducted with WIC and community health center staff, thus ensuring health care access for pregnant women who had delayed prenatal care entry and a healthy start for their infants.

In Jane’s professional life, she has been a key staff member for the Windham Regional Community Council, Inc. (WRCC) since 1983 when, in response to a community needs assessment, she was hired as the Director of the agency’s Youth Services Bureau, which provides 24-hour crisis hotline substance abuse prevention, AIDS risk reduction, teen pregnancy prevention, Juvenile Justice Center, and a host program serving over 5,000 youth and families each year in the Town of Windham.

For 11 years, Jane has served as Associate Director of the agency where she has been the key person responsible for the development of an Infant Mortality prevention program, an immunization-tracking program for children, oversight of the Windham AIDS Counseling and Testing, prevention services and a care treatment program. She also led the agency expansion into housing emergency and assistance services, further demonstrating community solution finding and connection building.