United Way — Live United
In The News
Givers on the receiving end
Philanthropy just comes naturally to bankers Larry and Connie Hedberg, which helps explain why they were caught off guard when their years of community support earned them United Way of Lane County’s Alton F. Baker Award — the organization’s highest honor — at the agency’s 2013 United Way Community Celebration.
“We feel very honored,” Larry Hedberg said about receiving the award, which was announced Monday night at the Hilton Eugene. “We’ve observed others receiving this award, always people we respected.
“We never expected it for us; we always just do our thing, so it’s very nice (to be recognized).”
The Hedbergs have been involved with United Way for decades — since the 1980s. Both also have long careers in banking: Larry Hedberg works with U.S. Bank and Connie Hedberg most recently worked with Home Federal Bank.
Can Oregon save American health care?
In 2011, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber faced a vexing problem: The state had a $2 billion hole in its Medicaid budget and no good way to fill it.
He could cut doctors’ pay by 40 percent, but that might lead to them quitting Medicaid altogether. He could drop patients or benefits, but that would only compound costs in the long run. A former emergency room doctor, Kitzhaber remembers culling the Medicaid rolls in the 1980s, when he served as a state senator.
“When I went back home, and went back to the emergency department, I saw a couple of people who came in who lost coverage under that decision,” he said. “One of them was a guy who had had a massive stroke. These people don’t disappear.”
Ready to Learn
Having a child always will change the lives of a parent. For Stephanie Wagner, having her son led her to a new career choice: child care.
When Wagner, now 42, returned to work upon giving birth to her second child, Joseph, four years ago, she decided that her old job in the food industry was no longer her calling.
“Not working at home wasn’t working for me,” Wagner said.
NEDCO helps folks get back on their feet
Lack of privacy is a common complaint among preteen and teenage girls. It’s not always as severe as they can make it seem, but the complaint from Nellie Martinez’s 11-year-old daughter was quite valid: For about four months last winter, Martinez lived with her husband and their six kids in a garage.
“My daughter asked me, ‘How long are we going to live in the garage? I have no privacy,’” Martinez said. “And it broke my heart.”
Martinez, 32, and her family moved to Eugene from Fresno, Calif., last year with, almost literally, just the clothes on their backs. They lived in a family member’s garage in Eugene from the time they arrived in September until December.
United Way agency helps residents get health care they need
Lining the walls of community health workers Silvia Hartsock and Barbara Radillo’s office are written comments from thankful clients. The notes remind them why they do the work that they do.
Although they come from different backgrounds, Hartsock and Radillo, both 38, have one thing in common: a desire to work in the front lines of social work.
In March, Hartsock and Radillo were hired as health workers for Lane United CareConnect, a pilot program run under the auspices of United Way of Lane County and South Lane Mental Health. Through the program, they help both Spanish- and English-speaking clients to overcome barriers to better health.