Charlotte — It’s So Rewarding to Follow Your Passion to Serve
I moved to Loudoun County from Florida in 2009. A year later, I started my professional career working as an office manager and clinic administrator at Blue Ridge Speech & Hearing. I have been here ever since, becoming the executive director in 2013. As the ED, I do everything except patient care—administration, human resources, grant writing, and financials.
Blue Ridge is a nonprofit organization that provides quality assessment and treatment to 2,000 patients a year; when needed, we offer discounted or subsidized services for people with speech, language, hearing, developmental and motor skill challenges. Blue Ridge Speech & Hearing is the only nonprofit providing the combined services of audiology, speech therapy, and occupational therapy to Loudoun County’s residents in need. We fit more than 400 hearing aids each year.
I love the fact that Blue Ridge can serve anyone. We work with newborns and elderly patients as well as people from across the entire socio-economic spectrum. And, we are one of the few providers that accept Medicaid patients.
My heart is full everyday at Blue Ridge. When a patient first comes in, you really feel their pain. But then, when you fit a patient with hearing aids, you open up the whole world to them. It’s truly a fulfilling job. When you have someone hugging you and thanking you – it is just so amazing and rewarding.
We do have our own challenges. Uncertainty around health insurance is one that directly affects our patients. People are confused and frustrated. Another challenge is lack of public transportation to our facility in Lansdowne, limiting who can use our services.
THE VISION OF NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP
There are so many great people doing great things here and the collaboration among the local nonprofits is amazing.
There is no way to deny the amount of need in our county, and the communications between the County’s core service providers makes that clear. Need will only grow in the coming years especially if the nonprofits don’t have the resources to also grow. I am hoping the support—and funding—needed to sustain our nonprofit community will be there. A big part of that will be attracting and retaining leaders interested in public service. I want them to feel this is a promising career. I would tell anyone interested in pursuing nonprofit administration that the most important key to success is to follow your passion. I am so thrilled to be able to follow mine and help End the Need.
Charlotte lives in Haymarket with her husband, mother and two sons.