GREAT BARRINGTON — Ilana Steinhauer, the executive director of Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, has received the sixth annual Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity presented by the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care — developed this award program to find and honor people working for systemic change to address health inequities within their communities.
Steinhauer is not only the executive director of VIM Berkshires but also serves as clinical director and is an active nurse practitioner. The Massachusetts clinic provides care to about 1,300 patients, 80 percent of whom are minority immigrants, mainly from Latin America.
Steinhauer helped create a transportation program to get patients to and from appointments, eliminating a major barrier to care. This program provides almost 1,000 rides annually, which significantly increased patient visit attendance and, in turn, drove improved health outcomes.
The RWJF Awards for Health Equity have been presented to the NAFC and other organizations spanning sectors including public health, health care, social justice, civic leadership, education, community development, and philanthropy.