Why WithinReach? Why Now?
Written by Aliyah Hina Quraishi, Board member at WithinReach
When the opportunity to serve as a WithinReach Board member presented itself I asked these same questions, why WithinReach? Why now? I was humbled to be considered among so many amazing and accomplished individuals.
This was not the first time I have been asked to join a Board. In fact, I had already founded a nonprofit to answer one question for myself – How can I make more of a difference?
“Making a difference” is a relative concept and means different things to different people. That’s what differentiates us from one another – the unique lens we bring to everything we do in life. But with ‘making a difference’, there is a common thread no matter what lens you use – empathy.
For me, empathy is about caring, service, and compassion for others. It is about caring enough to do something. To take action. To be a voice.
As a health care industry leader, I understand how challenging it can be for families to navigate our complex health and social service systems. I also know the motivation, dedication and innovative thinking required to change these systems of support across our state.
This is where WithinReach comes in. For over 30 years, WithinReach has turned empathy into action. And, it was the strategic nature of WithinReach’s action that drew me to the Board.
There is a spirit of innovation in all WithinReach does. For instance, WithinReach embraces technology and uses it to better their programs and services in order to increase access to resources for vulnerable members of the community. WithinReach’s staff are certified navigators in the State, and coupled with their custom resource database, can enroll individuals and families in affordable health insurance and supplemental food programs, and connect them to other community-based resources.
Whether it’s making sure kids have a healthy breakfast and can start the school day ready to learn, or providing parents with the tools they need to ensure their kids are meeting important, early developmental milestones, Withinreach is focused on helping families connect to all the resources they need to be healthy and safe.
Washington State just concluded its open enrollment period for health insurance, and whether you are enrolling through your employer, as an individual or through Federal and State programs – health care coverage is complicated and confusing. WithinReach makes it easier, by helping people navigate the enrollment process with ease. WithinReach helped 3,110 of people get covered for health insurance in 2017. It’s not just about numbers – it’s about changing lives, like we see in Nathan’s Story.
I have witnessed the powerful impact that WithinReach has on the health and well-being of Washington families, and I am proud and humbled to be part of this work. As a WithinReach Board member and Ambassador, I want more people to know how WithinReach is helping create healthy, vibrant communities in Washington so that all families have the opportunity to thrive.
I invite you to join me in making a difference for families in Washington – consider following WithinReach on Facebook to learn more, or better yet, join me on May 9th at Experience WithinReach, an interactive event designed to show you exactly what this great organization does. You will meet WithinReach staff and learn what this organization is doing every day to address urgent needs and create lasting impact.
Aliyah Hina Quraishi
Strategic Technology Leader at UnitedHealth Group/Optum | Board Member, WithinReach| Entrepreneur | Philanthropist | Proud owner of Shaggy