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  • Letter From the Director

    Happy Anniversary, IPAC!

    A couple of weeks ago, IPAC and I hit an important milestone. One year ago, I became IPAC’s first full-time director. For those who have not met me yet, my name is Arian Smedley. As a trained journalist, my taking on a leadership role with a nonprofit organization has proved challenging in so many ways. But it has been a rewarding adventure to support the good work that IPAC partners do every day. 

    IPAC continues the same mission and vision of ensuring healthy development for all children in our region, but the structure of the organization has changed dramatically in the past year. As many of you know, IPAC decided to “go main street” at the tail end of 2015. To become a true community-focused nonprofit organization, we separated ourselves from Ohio University, secured our own offices in The Plains and hired our own staff. While we lost the stability the university can bring, this change allows us to form deeper connections with our community partners. It also allows the university to interact with us more as a partner.

    As the director, I’m now tasked with finding new ways to keep the mission and vision alive. I am proud to say I hired on Aimee Townsend as our Project Manager, and two paid interns from OU’s College of Communication – Garrett Bower and Erika Roberts. This dynamic team has rejuvenated the organization and brought a new degree of creativity to move the organization forward.

    We have a great deal of work left in order to grow the organization, but I’m immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished in just one year.

    For example: 

    Contracted care coordinators, participating in IPAC’s health outcome-based program, helped our clients successfully meet 60 health outcomes. The lives of our clients and their babies are now significantly improved. So what does that mean, exactly? Just over 30 babies were born at a healthy weight, at full term and avoided the NICU. These are babies born to women who are at the highest risk of a poor birth outcome. This also means 17 women received a LARC, meaning an unintended pregnancy is no longer a worry. And these are just some of the tracked outcomes. We have IPAC’s contracted care coordinators to thank for these successes. They are the ones doing the intense work of developing trusting relationships with the clients, who come from all across the region, like Athens, Hocking, Perry, Meigs, Ross and Morgan Counties.

    This year, we committed to investing roughly $250,000 into our regional workforce. IPAC supports three full-time positions in three agencies – Help Me Grow in Hocking, Help Me Grow in Perry and the Family Navigator Program in Athens. That personnel added capacity to those agencies and allowed them to provide additional services to their clients. As a result, fewer families fell through the cracks.

    In 2016, one of our partners earned $15,006 in bonus payments through our health outcome incentive program. These payments go over and above traditional reimbursements and may be used in any way the care site deems fit. Through the development of this program, we are assisting local providers’ transition from volume- to value-based care.

    We continue to support innovative ways to address our local needs. The work of our partners in Athens has led them to develop a new clinic specific for babies born diagnosed with NAS. The clinic is designed to monitor the baby’s development and maintain contact with the family to continue offering supportive service as needed.

    Part of IPAC’s mission is to advocate for our region’s needs. Throughout 2016, we took the concerns of our partners directly to our lawmakers, by way of in-person meetings or in testimony. 

    This past year has allowed us to work with the community in a different way, something we hope will reveal new opportunities to offer support. So, for those who’ve interacted with us this past year, thank you. It’s been a privilege and an honor to support your work. As we head into 2017, we look forward to enhancing IPAC’s vision of serving as your space to collaborate, innovate and advocate.

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