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JHHC’s Second Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
February 14, 2020
"We shall overcome," the JHHC choir sang, as they kicked off the second annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The song echoes the belief that Dr. King fought for in his nonviolent role in the Civil Rights Movement.
JHHC employees celebrated the life of Dr. King on Friday, Jan. 31. Keynote speaker Kendra Brown and spoken word poet Eddie Bennet presented about Dr. King’s legacy in the ongoing quest for equality and justice. Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan member and Field Services Manager, Steve Whisler, discussed his experience with the plan and how the work we do in serving our customers aligns with the ideals of Dr. King.
JHHC had four nominees this year for the annual Community Service Award: Tonja Rice, Teresa Ward, Jennifer Glenn and Dr. James Tisdale. Tonja offers program support on World AIDS Day, works with her church to help low-income families year-round, and recently volunteered with Lifted Strong to support women who are homeless or impacted by HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. Teresa helps feed neighbors in need through grocery donation drives and conducts an annual “Soup to Bowl” donation collection event. Jennifer has been volunteering since 2007 as a Hotline Counselor, Outreach Volunteer, Legal Advocate, and Hospital Advocate with HopeWorks, the domestic violence and rape crisis center for Howard County, MD.
James, the award winner, has been a foster parent to over 66 children, connects homeless people with community resources and needs (including food he cooks himself), and finds drug users in the Govans community of Baltimore City and offers them multifaceted support as they strive for sobriety. James received an engraved award and $500 to donate to the charity of his choice.
All four employees were recognized by President and CEO JP Holland and Senior Vice President/COO Karen Eskridge. They each received a certificate and well-deserved applause from their colleagues.
Although this year’s nominees are superstars among us, many other employees are similarly committed to volunteerism. Through JHHC Community Relations, employees honor Dr. King’s legacy year-round by teaming up with coworkers in service events with our nonprofit partners. Maintaining this connection with our communities gives us insight into the challenges faced by our members, which empowers us to care for them in more nuanced, compassionate ways.