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Alumna Noonan receives national award

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IPA alumna Sarah Noonan honored by NACHC for outstanding health-center advocacy

 
Sarah Noonan poses for a photo with the NACHC award

Sarah K. Noonan (MPA 06), deputy director of Westside Family Healthcare in Wilmington, Del., was one of 15 nationwide recipients of the 2010 Betsey K. Cooke Advocacy MVP Award, given by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The honorees gathered from as far away as Alaska on February 25 in Washington, D.C., for the presentation ceremony at a Congressional Awards Breakfast, which took place in conjunction with an NACHC Policy & Issues Forum.

This award is given each year in honor of the late Elizabeth K. (Betsey) Cooke, whose advocacy for Americas health centers and health-center patients set an example for all health-center advocates.

In citing the winners, NACHC advocacy director Marc Wetherhorn said, The 2010 honorees all went above and beyond in their efforts to [either] insure that their members of Congress actively supported health centers or to establish and expand grassroots advocacy efforts at their health center or in their state last year.

In a personal letter to Noonan, Wetherhorn cited her for her hard work and dedication to building health centeradvocacy power and furthering the health centerpolicy agenda in Congress last year. He added, This is really just a small way to demonstrate how much all of us at NACHC appreciate your efforts.

Noonans major responsibilities at Westside are health-center advocacy, fund development, marketing, communications, and community outreach.

Since joining Westsides executive management team in August 2006, Noonan has exemplified the role of an emerging leader. As health-center advocate and staff to the Advocacy Committee of Westsides Board of Directors, she has championed its advocacy objectives by organizing staff and board to respond to important local and national issues that affect health centers and their patients. These efforts were recognized by NACHC in September 2008 when she was named Health Center Advocate of the Month.

Lolita Lopez, president and CEO of Westside, proudly says of Noonan, Sarah personifies the culture of our organization, which is to instill quality at all levels and [push] excellence to the next level. In such a short time with the organization, she has made herself indispensable and is viewed by others as a valued member of the team.

Westside Family Healthcare, Delawares largest nonprofit community health center, provides family medical, dental, and mental health care to more than 20,000 patients annually. More than half of its patients are uninsured, and more than 90 percent have low incomes.

Eric Jacobson, associate professor of urban affairs and public policy and Noonans MPA adviser, says, Sarahs work truly has improved the lives of real people and their communities.

In addition, Jacobson adds, by developing Westsides summer internship program [in cooperation with the School of Public Policy & Adminstration] and serving as an outstanding mentor, Sarah has also made a very important contribution to the education of graduate students in the Universitys Master of Public Administration program.

While at UD, Noonan worked as an Institute for Public Administration (IPA) research assistant on the Delaware Senior Center Grant-in-Aid Project and served as a League Fellow with the Delaware League of Local Governments. Sarah was also a Legislative Fellow during the last semester of her graduate program at the Institute for Public Administration (IPA).

Advocating for ones community and giving back to ones university are much sought-after qualities these days, particularly at IPA. Noonan is excelling at both.

Photo courtesy of NACHC.

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Alumna Noonan receives national award
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