Sue received the Commissioner’s Leadership Award, which “recognizes exceptional leadership in promoting community/institutional transformation through environmental strategies and/or policy implementation for health improvement. The award acknowledges and celebrates extraordinary success related to the principle community transformation themes of the conference. The impact and outcome of the work of the nominee are important measures of a successful candidate of this award.”

The nomination below was submitted by our CEO, Toni McGuire, and best conveys all of the amazing contributions Sue has made to the health center and our community. Congratulations Sue!

“Sue Schlotterbeck is a leader in educating the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy CHC) and the community about cultures of refugee and immigrant populations. She conveys passion and enthusiasm while creating a diverse, accepting environment where all patients are truly welcomed. Sue is the driving force behind initiatives that address the needs of and improve health outcomes for the diverse population served by the Kennedy CHC. She has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to social justice and health equity – with her work as a Rural Women Extension Officer in the Peace Corps in Kenya, a Project Consultant for the Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees in Thailand, a Nutritionist in Sudan for the International Rescue Committee, and continuing as a Literacy Volunteer and foster parent for a refugee with an infant daughter. She uses her innate understanding of human nature and her experience in multiple cultures to grasp the basis of each newly arrived refugee population.

“Under Sue’s leadership of the Health Equity/Cultural Competency (HE/CC Committee) committee, Kennedy CHC committed to hiring staff that represent the populations in our communities and speak the languages of our patients, including the newest arrivals. The resulting hiring policies have brought staff from 40 countries who speak 47 languages. Sue developed trainings on cultural competence and health equity that are provided during the new hire orientation training, the annual required training for all staff, and department-specific trainings. Sue has begun work with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) culture and has instituted an annual online staff training developed by the Fenway Institute. She worked closely with the Area Health Education Center of Central Massachusetts (AHEC) to create an interpreter training to meet the need of emerging populations, recruited candidates speaking emerging languages for medical interpreter training, and worked with the AHEC to implement mental health training for medical interpreters.

“The Culturally Responsive Care Policy which outlines the Health Center’s plan to provide culturally responsive care to improve health communication and reduce health disparities, was developed by Sue with support by the HE/CC Committee. The Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards Cultural Competence/Health Equity Training was successfully implemented through her efforts. In the less than two years, Sue shepherded the Health Literacy Subcommittee from simply introducing the concept of Health Literacy to institutionalizing good health literacy practices across all departments and staff. Sue worked tirelessly and with cheerful persistence to institutionalize both specific health literacy techniques and good health literacy as an institutional value.”