At Healthy365, filling our staff roster with good listeners and community-minded individuals is always our top priority. One such super staff member is our Healthy Community Manager, Amanda Hinkle RD, CHW. Amanda also serves as the System of Care Coordinator for Hancock County at large, and she leverages her top-notch people and communications skills to bring our community together and provide resources for those in need.
Decades of serving community members
Prior to working at Healthy365, Amanda served about 15 years with the Indiana WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program. In this role, it was important to her as a supervisor to be knowledgeable about the various resources Hancock County had to offer, in order to point families in the right direction. “I did not like telling someone, ‘I don’t know or I’m not sure,’” said Amanda. “For me, that wasn’t acceptable.”
In pursuit of this goal, Amanda started to look into ways to get the various agency representatives in the same room at the same time, in order to truly work together to serve and refer residents to the best resources. “I was in the process of gathering contact information from everyone,” she explained. “While at the same time I learned that Healthy365 was starting up and that the System of Care model was coming to our county.”
What is the System of Care model?
In Indiana, the System of Care model comes from the Division of Mental Health and Addiction, whose mission is “to ensure that Indiana citizens have access to quality mental health and addiction services that promote individual, family and community resiliency and recovery.” The System of Care approach is used across the country, and as Amanda explained, “It’s a way for key stakeholders, including youth and family, to come together once a month to talk about services available and what gaps in services we might have, specifically around mental health and substance use prevention and intervention.”
Amanda started out as a part of Healthy365 and Hancock County System of Care as a representative from WIC. One year later, she transitioned into the System of Care Coordinator role for Hancock County at large, later officially joining the Healthy365 team as Healthy Community Manager as well.
Small-town feel in Hancock County
Living in McCordsville since 2004, Amanda loves all that Hancock County has to offer its community. “It feels a little country while having the amenities of being close to a big city.” Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids, entertaining friends and family at her house, being outside boating, and sitting by the fire. She also loves to quote movies, including her favorites: “Jerry Maguire,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Top Gun,” “Ace Ventura,” “The Burbs” and “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.” As she said, “Being silly and living simply is important to me.”
And Amanda loves that the small-town feel of Hancock County makes her job fun too. “I love that collaboration between agencies feels effortless and that everyone has the same goal,” she said. “With that, it’s easier to make change happen and improve the health of a smaller county which makes my job so much fun.”
Providing overall community care
Amanda has truly enjoyed seeing how Healthy365 has morphed over the last few years as the Community Health Needs Assessment tells staff which areas of care are the most important to residents. “I love so many of the services and programs that Healthy365 has to offer but the Connection Center is probably the most amazing,” she said. “When someone is in need of help and they don’t know where to start, the Connection Center is that place.”
She also enjoys the fact that there is never a dull moment working at Healthy365. “Each day is never the same,” said Amanda. “I’m able to use my creative side and plan events, bring trainings to town, work with the schools and network with so many great agencies.” Amanda’s favorite quote is, “Act as if what you do makes a difference, it does” … and it’s clear that what she and the Healthy365 team are doing in Hancock County is making a real difference for our community.
And now for our Super Staff Series rapid-fire questions:
If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?
“I would have the superpower to get rid of COVID.”
What is your favorite Indiana season and why?
“I love them ALL. They are all so needed for our mental health and each offer a variety of experiences which is the spice of life.”
What is your favorite way to kick off a Monday?
“That’s a hard one! I’d have to say, it’s to come to work refreshed, write out a to-do list and start tackling it!”
What’s your most recent favorite read or movie?
“I enjoyed watching the Friends Reunion. It brought back a lot of memories and gave me all the feels.”