In Muskegon there are some pretty familiar faces that lead organizations and make an impact. Every community has those who are "out front" and very visible in their efforts. It's not a matter of glory or being an attention grabber, it's just part of the territory for some. There are some too who might not be quite as visible but their contributions are immense and their impact on the lives of all of us is huge. While not in the headlines all the time, newlywed Linda Garzelloni, who you maybe better recognize as Linda Juarez, of Hackley Community Care is just one of those leaders who's about to pull back on her career a little and refocus her efforts on life, marriage and maybe a project or two with mental health in the area, because that's where the new horizon lies when it comes to our struggles.
Linda's resume is like reading a list of qualifications that could easily place her in command of any healthcare endeavor at the highest of levels. Degrees, experience and associations put her among the elite when it comes to healthcare management and administration. Her time in both the Muskegon County Public Health Office as well as Director of Primary Care Health for Hackley Hospital overseeing 45 physicians and 300 employees led her to her current position as the CEO of Hackley Community Care where she's served for over 30 years. In that time, the growth and expansion of Hackley Community Care has been incredible. Linda has managed the Medicaid HMO contract; secured the 330 Grant funds and the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status, and developed the Hackley Community Care Dental Clinic. Also in Linda's tenure, Hackley Community Care has expanded its range of services to include: Medical, OB, Community Care Pharmacy, Behavioral Health, School Wellness Programs in two local middle schools and a Teen Health Center on the campus of Muskegon High School. Linda has been very instrumental in the clinic’s success and growth. This is taken from the HCC Website. Are you getting the feeling that Linda was all about strong women before it became the front page? You are correct!
With that much behind her by way of accomplishments, why wouldn't the road lead to bigger opportunities in bigger city's for more money? Well, simply put, Linda found in Muskegon what most of us do. Home. The community here and those who make it happen is a very special place. Sure, we're a stepping stone for some and a spring board for others, but there are those who see past what's portrayed and believe in all of us. Linda is just one of those souls. Giving up on Muskegon has never been in her vernacular. It's the amount of qualifications as well as commitment and compassion that Linda has poured into every single day at Hackley Community Care that have helped that health care system to sustain, grow and serve and her leadership has been the shining star of quality for all of those years. To add in a personal thought....Linda is one of the incredibly unique individuals too that can devote the attention and commitment to an individual that makes them feel that they are the most important person in the room. To manage at the level she has, for the length of time she has denotes an almost unspeakable quality in a person who builds, supports and fosters success in others. She should retire and teach classes on just that.
Linda was gracious enough to share some thoughts on "her way out", which in reality, is only a shift. She won't be sitting still long. Maybe a little slower pace and maybe not every day, but her commitment to the greater good of us all isn't the chapter that's closing. Take a listen.
We're very lucky to have had a steward of our community like Linda serve as she has and for as long as she has. This is truly a celebration of excellence and appreciation. As we taped, we had a chance too to meet the incoming head honcho. Michael Weessies will be heading things up with our great sponsor soon and we've got every plan in place to meet up with Michael and learn about his path to becoming the new CEO of Hackley Community Care and his vision for what's to come. Linda, our most humble gratitude from a thankful community! Can't wait for the next chapter.