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FSSA Secretary Jennifer Walthall Receives National Impact Award


Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Secretary Jennifer Walthall, M.D., M.P.H. is this year’s Jerry W. Friedman Health and Human Services Impact Award winner. The Impact Award is presented annually by the American Public Human Services Association. It was created in honor of Friedman, who served as executive director of APHSA from 2001 to 2010 following decades of various leadership roles in human services. Dr. Walthall received the award this week at APHSA’s National Health and Human Services Summit in Washington, D.C.

In presenting the award, Tracy Wareing Evans, APHSA president and CEO, noted “(Friedman) never forgot the critical role that frontline agency workers play and inspired others to recognize these often-unseen heroes. Dr. Walthall embodies this spirit as she serves as the secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration and has created change and impact across the agency.”

Criteria for the award include that recipients:

  • have demonstrated a similar commitment that would honor Friedman’s health and human services legacy
  • have made a lasting contribution to the local, state or national health and human services system, through their adaptive leadership, system design, product development and/or technological advancements
  • have demonstrated that he, she or the organization has added value to an integrated service delivery system, and contributed in ways that are both sustainable as well as adaptable to changing environments and needs
  • have inspired others to lead boldly in the health and human services sector

Wareing Evans went on to highlight Dr. Walthall’s efforts to lead FSSA in building a data-informed cross-sectoral approach to improve health and well-being in communities across Indiana, saying, “As a leader of a large complex organization, Dr. Walthall’s investment in the department’s infrastructure and team are deeply valued by her staff and peers. Her work in creating modern technology to enable her staff to focus time on the most effective and efficient solutions for families and communities, in addition to her regular employee engagement activities through web-chats and other innovative mediums, are at the forefront of generative leadership.”

Secretary Walthall said: “It is an honor to receive the 2019 Jerry W. Friedman Health and Human Services Impact Award on behalf of our administration and the entire FSSA team. In Indiana we believe great government service, paired with compassion and innovation, can truly impact the lives of individuals in need as well as entire communities. This prestigious award only adds even more wind to our sails as we continue our efforts to positively impact the health of Hoosiers every day.”

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