Heluna Health Board of Directors Celebrates Population Health Leadership With Inaugural Outstanding Achievement Awards

Since its founding in 1969, Heluna Health has been a leader in strengthening our population health system by building outstanding teams of professionals in the field. COVID-19 has presented innumerable professional challenges to nearly everyone, especially those working in population health and health care. Heluna Health, working with so many population health organizations, has witnessed how valiantly our community has adapted to the overwhelming rush of population health needs, accomplishing feats to improve and save the lives of millions.

As such, at its August 2021 meeting, the Heluna Health Board of Directors inaugurated the Certificate of Outstanding Achievement Awards by granting one individual award and one team award in its first year of the awards program. To acknowledge extraordinary and impactful work in the field, the Heluna Health Board of Directors presented the individual award to Dr. Toncé Jackson, Heluna Health’s PHFE WIC Senior Health Equity Manager, and the team award to the Santa Clara County Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (CICT) Team.

The Award Recipients

Dr. Jackson is the co-founder of CinnaMoms — a modern breastfeeding and parenthood support program for Black and African American families, delivered through our WIC program. Dr. Jackson leads the program’s health equity portfolio and has been named a National WIC Association Health Equity Champion. Within Heluna Health, Dr. Jackson helped launch the agency’s first cross-program workplace inclusion initiative, supporting Heluna Health’s 2,700+ employees. She also serves as co-lead for PHFE WIC’s Council on Racial Equity (CORE).

Dr. Jackson works to eradicate racial and economic disparities and improve health outcomes for women, infants, children, and families. Under Dr. Jackson’s leadership, CinnaMoms has secured funding from several highly-regarded grants, including the WIC Special Project Innovation Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a grant to expand breastfeeding support groups for Black and African American mothers from Kaiser Permanente. An unstoppable force for good, Dr. Jackson is the first to receive the individual Certificate of Outstanding Achievement Award.

Santa Clara County Public Health Department co-created the Santa Clara County Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (CICT) Team in partnership with Heluna Health to meet Santa Clara County’s need for case investigation and contact tracing support during the early and precarious stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially focused on case investigation and contact tracing, the CICT Team has evolved and grown. In February 2021, the work of the CICT Team expanded to include COVID-19 vaccination administration efforts. What was supposed to be a 12-month contract has been extended well over that initial year. The contract budget has also doubled since its inception due to increased and evolving COVID-19 needs. To date, Santa Clara County has achieved a significant milestone of fully vaccinating over 80% of its residents 12 and older, much to the testament of the CICT and MoVax Team’s incredible work. The Heluna Health Board of Directors presented the Santa Clara County direct Project and Client Support Teams with the first-ever Certificate of Outstanding Achievement Team Award for their contributions supporting this critical project. The Project and Client Support Team members recognized were Sara Stahlberg, Karin Halvorsen, Gabrielle Aguilar, Dominyque Elahee, Johnson Truong, Samrawit Gessese, Aundraya Williams, Laura Spriggs-Nevares, Joseph Selvaraj, Tim Seifert, Peter Dale, Elisa Meza, and Amy Lau.

Heluna Health looks forward to continuing to partner, recognize, and collaborate with outstanding individuals and teams working to improve population health. Thank you, and congratulations to our highly committed and competent partners and staff, who continue to make us proud!