As employees of Clearway Health we are proud of the tremendous work we do every day to make a difference in the lives of the patients and families we serve who are disproportionally impacted by social, economic, and/or environmental healthcare disparities. Giving back to those most in need is a core pillar of our organization. This month, we are highlighting three employees who have been inspired by events and experiences in their lives to give back to charitable causes outside of the workplace. Participating in charitable causes not only helps to reduce stress and increase self-esteem, it creates an opportunity to use our time and talents towards serving others, while we gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Bob Pullano, RPh, Director, Specialty Operations for Clearway Health
Bob Pullano, RPh, director, specialty operations for Clearway Health lost his sister to cancer very suddenly three years ago. Cancer can be completely blindsiding, and unfortunately, Bob’s sister and family experienced this first-hand. This year, as a way to honor the memory of his sister, Bob represented Clearway Health at Signature Healthcare’s Champions Fighting Cancer Walk in Brockton, Massachusetts in May. “It was a beautiful day,” said Bob. “It was great to be able to walk with people who shared similar values of wanting to improve patients’ lives and cure a disease that impacts our society. It was a great experience.”
Through donations from family, friends and colleagues, Bob raised $700 for the walk. Funds raised went towards supporting the Green Cancer Center at Signature Healthcare and the Christine M. Sullivan Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing medical treatment and resources for cancer patients and cancer research. “We can do more than our every day roles,” said Bob. “We can participate in causes that are important to population health and to human kind.”
In his free time, Bob works in the game day compliance office at Fenway Park, acting as an umpire behind the scenes for home games. Over the years, the Boston Red Sox’ dedication to supporting the Jimmy Fund has always resonated with Bob, another reason for his desire to do more for the cause. “Kids with cancer is just so unfair,” said Bob. “It’s great to see an organization that’s made a significant impact for such an important cause.”
Tracie Marie, Director, Talent Acquisition for Clearway Health
Tracie Marie, director, talent acquisition for Clearway Health has always been drawn to volunteering and giving back. She has been a public speaker and advocate for adolescents facing mental illness through NAMI DuPage, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals facing mental illness and their families.
Personal life experiences, family and friends have gifted her with an ability to relate and have insight for those suffering from this illness. Tracie wants to help remove the stigma and let those who suffer from mental illness know that help is available. “You can get through mental illness,” says Tracie. “Just because there isn’t a blood test that shows this illness, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Dedicating myself to this cause gives me purpose and makes me feel like I am contributing in some way.” Tracie has spoken to adolescents at various behavior health locations in both in-patient and out-patient settings. She also serves as a volunteer for special events through NAMI DuPage including participating in the annual gala walk to raise funds for the organization.
Tracie also authors children’s books and recently published her first book, Mac to the Rescue - a short tail and is working on additional books. “My ultimate goal is to publish one book a year,” she says. She and her sister, Nichol, started their own company called Candy from the Sky. Their company name was inspired after a childhood tradition their parents started where they would toss candy near them to celebrate good behavior and kindness. The company tagline is to “create sweet memories that give back.” A portion of the proceeds from the first book went towards causes they care about such as Canines for Disabled Kids, PAWS Chicago, and The Anti-Cruelty Society, among others.
“If you go through something that impacts you, you have a choice to let it bring you down or you can find purpose and do something amazing with it,” says Tracie. “It can take some time, but you can turn that darkness into light.”
Katie Baxter-Clark, CPhT, Pharmacy Liaison Supervisor for Clearway Health
Katie Baxter-Clark, CPhT, pharmacy liaison supervisor for Clearway Health at OU Health serves on the Innovative Board, a group of young professionals that mobilizes and educates the future generation of philanthropic Oklahomans. Since 2012, the group has been focused on raising funds for The Children’s Health Foundation, a nonprofit that advances medical care for children in Oklahoma by supporting research, education and accessibility to care. “Without this foundation many children with complex medical needs would have to travel outside of the state to receive care,” said Katie.
When Katie worked as a clinic liaison in the pediatric oncology wing at the Jimmy Everest Center at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, she could see the impact The Children’s Health Foundation had on the patients and the providers. “I became interested in getting more involved. It seemed like a great group,” said Katie. Today, she helps to raise funds for the foundation through participation in their annual Yard Party and Trivia Bowl events. So far this year, the board has helped to raise $23,560 to help children in Oklahoma receive better care.