Using her experience as a service alumna and expertise in public health to answer Governor Jared Polis (Colo.) call for service-based contact tracing program, Heather Baily was instrumental in leading the public health needs for the Colorado COVID Containment Corps. To date, her efforts have reached 900 members and volunteers from all four AmeriCorps signature programs (State and National, VISTA, NCCC, and AmeriCorps Seniors) and served more than 50,000 Coloradans.
“We are honored to celebrate Heather’s partnership with national service to fight the spread of COVID in this great state,” said Ken Goodson, AmeriCorps regional administrator for the mountain region. “The Colorado COVID Containment Corps has been a huge success, and one that could not have happened without a trusted partner like Heather in the Colorado Department of Public Health.”
Heather helped to create this collaborative public health corps and maintain/improve it through the worst periods of COVID-19 in Colorado. She captained a ship with a diverse crew of partners – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Gary Community Investments, Serve Colorado, and AmeriCorps.
Through hiring efforts, Heather’s team retained 84 alumni as full-time, paid contact tracers during a national crisis. Thanks to Heather and her team, Colorado has maintained strong, innovative, service-based surge capacity for contact tracing and case investigation. Heather also maintained data transparency, working to educate and inform AmeriCorps and its partners about the most recent developments in this public health battle.
“At AmeriCorps, we know it’s our people—often behind the scenes—who make great things happen,” said Goodson. “And while Heather may have served under a different organization, she certainly has earned her AmeriCorps “A” for stepping up when her state needed her.”
Heather, who earned advanced degrees in public health and medical anthropology, also is an international service alumna through Peace Corps where she worked on health-based initiatives in Ghana from 2012-14. She is primed to continue her service journey with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)—and continue to #GetThingsDone.