Janna Elliott, Assistant Director of Operations, Accountability
Merriam-Webster defines accountability as, “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” To me, it means being a good steward. In my role with the Health Department, I am responsible for the funds we expend as well as accounting for funds we receive, either fees earned through services we provide, grants, federal, state or local funds. As an agency, we are held accountable for how we use all of our funding through regular audits of our programs. Auditors look to see if we are providing services according to our agreements as well as how we expend the funds within each program. Each grant we receive has specific reporting requirements. If we are ever found to have not held up our end of the agreements, we would find ourselves in a payback situation. Not only are we accountable for the funds, we are accountable for the equipment (vehicles, computers, hand-held GIS devices, vaccines, etc.) we use to help us do our jobs; we are accountable for the data (personal health information) we obtain throughout the course of doing our jobs; we are accountable for the way we spend our work days. As an Alamance County tax payer with lots of family and friends who are also Alamance County tax payers, I feel a great sense of accountability for ensuring Alamance County tax payers are getting a good ROI (return on investment) on a daily basis.
Jessica Johnson, Infant Mortality Reduction Program Planner, Compassion
To me, compassion means having empathy for those around us. It’s easy to think of ways of how we show care and concern to individuals, but the field of public health gives us the awesome of opportunity of taking it one step further by thinking about how we can make our whole community healthier. In my work as a Program Manager for our infant mortality reduction strategies, I have the opportunity to display compassion as I think about how to provide the best care possible for each individual pregnant mother who walks in the Centering Pregnancy room or adolescent who sits in our Teen Waiting Area. But I also get to think about the bigger picture and dream about what would it mean to our community if every woman got pregnant at the time that was right for their family. Compassion doesn’t mean doing what’s easiest or most comfortable. It means stretching ourselves to think creatively in order to achieve equitable outcomes for all.