Q&A with Robyn Hamilton, Impact’s Executive Director

Getting to Know Executive Director Robyn Hamilton

Q: What is your favorite downtime activity?
A: Spending time with my kids on my farm and chopping wood and using the chainsaw!

Q: Who would you invite to dinner if given the chance?  
A: Jesus

Q: Favorite podcasts?
A: This American Life

Getting to Know Impact Health

Q: Describe Impact Health in three words
A: Loving on community

Q: Why does the world (and WNC) need Impact Health?
A: Impact Health exists because we ALL need a healthy, happy, thriving community. Impact Health is bringing resources to WNC in the form of the NC DHHS Healthy Opportunities Pilot. This is just the start. Impact Health is going to be a disruptive force for innovation and positive change for the needs of WNC.

Q: Sometimes when we do tough things, we have a mantra that gets us through. What is your mantra for this first year of establishing Impact Health and launching the HSO Network?
A: “For such a time as this.” It comes from the book of Esther in the Bible. Esther’s uncle encouraged her during a particularly challenging time by saying she was right where she needed to be at the right time. She was made “for such a time as this.”

Q: What words of wisdom (or inspiration) would you offer to the members of the HSO Network as they take their first steps in the coming weeks to expand their services and build their capacity to transform how we approach healthcare in WNC? 
A: Just keep doing what you have been doing. Know you aren’t taking this next step alone. We are with you each step. We need you to tell us how to support you and what your community needs. You were built for this! You got this!

Q: What do you consider the biggest challenges ahead for changing the narrative around health and wellness, particularly as it relates to “upstream work” and drivers of health?
A: Courage and patience. This isn’t a quick or easy journey. There have been billions of dollars thrown into population health and social determinant solutions, but it takes more than money.  We must now change the narrative to include addressing the systemic barriers preventing the United States from becoming the healthiest nation in the world.  

Q: What will success for Impact Health (and the region) look like to you at the end of 2022?
A: Success means Impact Health will have launched the Healthy Opportunities Pilot with adequate coverage throughout 18 WNC counties. It also means that each county will have defined its own measurement of “success,” and Impact Health has convened, collaborated and put a plan in place to help make their vision happen. Lastly, success means more human service organizations will want to join the “Pilot” because they see the impact.

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