Women’s History Month: Elsie Baez Opens Doors to Healthcare, Community

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

HAMMONTONElsie Baez sees her role at AtlantiCare Behavioral Health’s Hammonton Family Success Center as a door opener – as in unlocking the door to critical healthcare needs as a bilingual family partner.

Baez ensures Spanish-speaking families and individuals in need have a consistent connection to the resources and support necessary to maintain physical and emotional health.

**FRONT RUNNER LA PRENSA: LATINO LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE**

A strong, thoughtful woman, the Pleasantville native focuses her professional and personal undertakings on removing barriers then building the bridges that empower diverse populations to break the cycle of poverty and create for themselves a sustainable, self-sufficient path for life.

As an integral part of HFSC, Baez helps open the door for community members to be empowered by support for raising healthy families, securing and maintaining housing, navigating through employment issues and healthcare needs, among other needs.

“As a bilingual representative, I’ve gained insights about the special and extensive needs of various members of our community,” Baez said for Front Runner New Jersey.

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“For example, as an advocate I communicate with different consulates, or participate in the process of child reunifications. The heart of the center is to help families as best as possible, regardless of the need, and walk them through the necessary steps.”

Baez has a personal connection with the community she serves. She has lived in Hammonton since 13 after moving from Pleasantville. The experience has given her a special appreciation for the need to close gaps created by language and culture.

“Elsie’s success in helping others to achieve this lies in her dedication to building trust and instilling confidence — always engaging with community members with the utmost positivity, and faith in their abilities,” AltantiCare said.

“Perhaps most importantly, whether Elsie is serving meals in a community soup kitchen or providing translation services to ensure parents understand how to access AtlantiCare Family Success Center, any and every task is given her personal best, and every patient, client or neighbor is treated with the utmost equality, grace and dignity.”

Highlighting the great culture and leadership in South Jersey’s Latinx community.

Baez has been able to communicate with her patients that asking for support is not a point of shame but a show of strength and determination. AtlantiCare said that ability makes her a respected leader at her job and in her many community outreach efforts.

Because of her compassionate work, her peers to declare Sept. 23 “Elsie Baez Day.”

“Elsie’s AtlantiCare coworkers will tell you how indispensable she is in her role providing community resources, referrals and programming to a diverse population while encouraging families to access the extensive services offered by the Family Success Center,” AtlantiCare said.

“She establishes loving relationships with families, coordinating activities and other practical needs as well also advocating on their behalf to ensure their needs are heard and met in the most effect way possible.

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“Elsie also understands the power of being resourceful in her role and is known as a strategic and creative thinker—innovating new ways to reach families ‘in the shadows’ and engage them in activities that put them on healthier paths,” AtlantiCare continued.

Any conversation about Baez must also include her faith, which inspires her to be one of the most respected mentors of adults and youth in her church community and beyond. Her spirituality makes an impact in the community through her participation with the AtlantiCare Partners in Faith Coalition as well.

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