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Why NOW?

At Acclinate, we believe that the present moment is the most powerful time to drive change. This is why we established the NOW Award, a recognition that celebrates community leaders who are actively shaping the landscape of health equity. This month, during the inspiring Black Health Connect event, we had the distinct honor of presenting the NOW Health Equity Award to an exceptional individual whose dedication and impact truly embody the essence of this award – Jasmine Leonard, an emerging leader and health equity champion at CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Understanding the NOW Award

The NOW Award stands as a testament to those individuals who are not content to wait for change, but instead catalyze real-time transformation within their communities. This award highlights three pivotal areas in which recipients have made remarkable strides:

  1. Building Trust: Jasmine's work within CareFirst reflects a profound understanding of the importance of trust between community members and health systems. Her efforts to bridge this gap have created a foundation for meaningful and sustainable change.
  2. Amplifying Community Stories: In the realm of health equity, personal narratives are incredibly powerful. Jasmine's ability to amplify the stories of the community members she serves has helped shed light on the challenges they face and the solutions they seek.
  3. Influencing Decision Making: Jasmine's influence on health-related decision making has been instrumental in creating pathways to better care. Her dedication to advocating for the needs of her community has led to informed and impactful decisions that have the potential to transform lives.‍

Jasmine's Journey: A True Health Equity Trailblazer

Jasmine's journey at CareFirst has been nothing short of remarkable. Throughout her tenure, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to pediatrics, health equity, and social impact. Her fearless approach to leading difficult conversations and advocating for underserved populations has earned her the affectionate title of CareFirst's resident "good troublemaker."

Jasmine's achievements are as diverse as they are impactful. She initiated, designed, and successfully maintained a Pediatric Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program with a substantial budget, significantly contributing to the well-being of pediatric providers and patients alike. Her guidance and strategies, such as reducing ER visits, integrating behavioral health care, and enhancing patient education, have transformed the landscape of pediatric care.

However, Jasmine's contributions don't end within the confines of healthcare institutions. Her dedication to addressing pressing issues, even in the face of a pandemic, has been awe-inspiring. She moderated crucial discussions on vaccine hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitated educational seminars on the medical mistreatment of Black women, shedding light on critical societal challenges.

Jasmine's influence extended to the development of health equity training programs and a company-wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion framework. Her exceptional contributions led to a groundbreaking role as Health Equity Enterprise Manager, where she is spearheading health equity initiatives and fostering collaborations with esteemed institutions like Children’s National Medical Center.

Recognizing her exceptional endeavors, Jasmine received the 2021 CareFirst Community Health & Social Impact (CHSI) Compass Award, a testament to her embodiment of values like leadership, integrity, and excellence. Her alignment with the mission of providing affordable, equitable, and quality healthcare to the community has allowed her to uplift the voices of those who are often overlooked.

NOW Award: A Fitting Tribute

As we reflect on Jasmine's journey, it becomes abundantly clear why she is the embodiment of the NOW Health Equity Award's spirit. Her dedication to building trust, amplifying community stories, and influencing health-related decisions aligns seamlessly with the award's criteria. Jasmine's leadership and contributions reflect the essence of the NOW Award – a recognition of real-time impact, tireless commitment, and the belief that the time for change is always now.

So, as we celebrate Jasmine's achievements and honor her with the NOW Award, let's ask ourselves: If not now, when? It is people like Jasmine who remind us that the time for change and equity is always the present. We look forward to witnessing the continued positive influence she exerts on health equity and the betterment of her community.

Congratulations, Jasmine, on this well-deserved recognition. Your journey is an inspiration, and your impact is a testament to the power of the NOW Award. Together, let us continue to drive change and champion health equity for all.

‍To learn more about Jasmine, check out her LinkedIn.

Stay tuned for submittal information on the next NOW award!

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