Bostonian's Commitment and Service Wins National Award: Neighborhood Health Plan's Sweet Honored for "Making a Difference"
Boston, MA - January 25, 2011 - The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) announced today that Neighborhood Health Plan's (NHP) William (Bill) Sweet has been named the second recipient of its annual Making a Difference Award in recognition of his outstanding service to underserved children with disabilities and their families in the community.
As a pediatric nurse practitioner and complex care management coordinator for NHP, Sweet has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of children with disabilities and their families who are among Massachusetts' most vulnerable. He is devoted to ensuring that children with special health care needs have access to high quality, well-coordinated, and medically appropriate health care by providing primary care, care management and coordination. But he makes a difference far beyond his work with NHP as a member and volunteer of various organizations that are committed to improving the lives of underserved populations.
"Sweet's devotion to the children and families he works with truly illustrates ACAP's principles," said Margaret A. Murray, ACAP's Chief Executive Officer. "His dedication and service clearly exceeds the norm and deserves special recognition, which makes us so proud to present him with this national award."
ACAP represents 53 not-for-profit health plans in 26 states serving over seven million people enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other public health programs. The "Making a Difference" award recognizes an ACAP-member plan employee whose performance reflects ACAP's mission by improving their community, supporting underserved populations, and fulfilling community needs.
Neighborhood Health Plan is a not-for-profit health insurer serving more than 225,000 people across Massachusetts and offering a wide array of competitive Medicaid and commercial products. Sweet, who has worked for NHP since 2000, lives in the Boston area with his wife and five children.
Sweet is a member of the Mass Respite Coalition, whose goal is to increase access to respite services for parents of children with disabilities. He also volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of East Boston as a medical consultant, the Harbor Area Early Intervention Center and the YMCA in Franklin. Sweet has served as a preceptor to students training to become pediatric nurse practitioners and, at the East Boston Community Health Center, has helped organize adaptive sports and recreation events for children with disabilities and their families.
At NHP, Sweet works in Neighborhood Health Plan's Special Kids Special Care program, an innovative model of care for children placed in medical foster care homes because of the severity and complexity of their medical needs and unstable medical conditions. Sweet provides primary care in collaboration with the health care team as well as care management and coordination for the children in this program. He also works with the childrens’ families and the Department of Children and Families staff to ensure they receive the support they need to allow them to care for these very special patients.
"Bill embodies Neighborhood Health Plan's commitment to expanding care access and equity within the communities we serve," said Deborah Enos, President of NHP. "We are delighted he is being recognized by ACAP with this prestigious award."
"Thousands of employees at ACAP's health plans work every day to help vulnerable populations get quality health care," said ACAP's Murray. "They make the words of our mission of service real in our communities. Sweet's tireless commitment is a great example of this work, and we are pleased to be able to recognize and share his story."
Sweet was selected by a committee of human resources directors from ACAP health plans. Nominees were judged by how well they support ACAP's principles of advocacy for beneficiaries, care, access to quality health care, and a commitment to the public good.
A formal presentation of the award will be made this spring, and a donation will be made to a charity of Sweet's choice.
For more information about ACAP, visit: http://www.communityplans.net/.