1199SEIU’s 2023 Recognition Ceremony was held on Thursday, October 12th. Opening remarks were provided by Executive Vice President and Deputy Executive Directors, Tim Foley and Daniel Bustillo. The Keynote Speaker was Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kate Walsh.
Closing out the ceremony was Lynn Community Health Center’s very own Jacqueline Nju-Ghong, a nurse on our Pearl Specialty Team.
LCHC Interim Chief Executive Officer Dr. Geoff Pechinsky introduced Jacky:
“Here, our primary mission is to care for our patients and community, regardless of ability to pay. Our secondary mission is to provide employment opportunities for our community. We value the work employees do in every part of our organization, and want to offer vital positions that allow employees entry into or promotion within the healthcare sector. Whether that be in a person’s first patient facing position at our call center or front desk, a new nurse fresh out of training, or a care coordinator linking patients or families to vital services, our 1199SEIU members serve in mission essential roles. Through the 1199SEIU Training Fund we have had Recovery Coaches become Certified Community Health Workers, who are then able to offer additional support to their patients and they increased their earnings as well. Nurses have earned their Nurse Practitioner licenses, and Medical Assistants have gained their nursing degrees. Recently one of our MA’s quickly transitioned from a Union delegate to a nurse manager, and she is flourishing. As we move into a world of value-based health care, in which we are finally reimbursed for the quality and experience of care, not solely for individual patient visits with providers, we expect Union roles to grow in number and variety. The Training Fund of 1199SEIU is a vital partner for this.
This evening, our staff member Jacky Nju-Ghong, the Senior Community Health Counselor for Lynn Community Health Center’s Integrated Testing and Linkage Services (which is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health), closed out the program. Jacky has been with our team for more than 16 years, and in her role provides a safe space for anyone (not only our patients) to access testing for sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and Hepatitis C. She also provides harm reduction services—providing clean syringes and injections supplies, and wound care kits, along w/ Narcan—to those who need it. Around the health center, she’s known for her skill at drawing blood for STI testing, and has joined the health center’s SUD workgroup, lending a harm reduction voice to that team. Jacky is an incredible listener, calm and professional provider, and overall wonderful human being.
In the words of her colleagues, “Jacky is such an important and wonderful part of our team. She keeps us dancing and laughing and loves to celebrate everyone. We are all so lucky to have her with us.”