Member of the Month

Janine Belsky

February 2020 

Currently I am a Youth Market Development Coordinator at the American Heart Association. As of 2/17/2020, I’ll be starting a new position at Hartford HealthCare

Job Title: Data Steward 

Committee Member On: Community Involvement

What she does for work: 
For nearly the past four years, I’ve been working in the non-profit field at the American Heart Association.  I will soon be embarking on a new career path in mid-February at Hartford HealthCare, but my time at AHA has been a very valuable experience.  My department manages the back-end operations of AHA’s fundraising campaign that is geared towards youth in schools – formerly known as Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart and now called Kids Heart Challenge/American Heart Challenge.  Here’s how it works: AHA partners with schools across the country and provides them with a variety of heart-healthy resources and educational materials on topics including exercising, eating well, drinking water, avoiding tobacco and vaping, and the importance of kids’ emotional health.  In turn, the school holds a fundraising event associated with a physical activity like jumping rope, playing basketball, dancing, or doing an obstacle course.  The AHA then provides thank-you gifts to the students for participating in the event and raising money for the research and prevention of heart disease and stroke.  My team supports the AHA fundraisers who are out in the field recruiting schools to participate in the program.  We handle all of the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the campaign, i.e. we maintain the database for all our schools, manage our online fundraising platform, order supplies and prizes for 6500+ schools, and track fundraising metrics on a regular basis. 

What I have liked most about my time at AHA is that I can see the tangible impact that my work has had on others – and that motivates me every day.  I see pictures and videos of kids having fun doing physical activities.  I see the community working together for a common cause.  I hear about hands-only CPR kiosks that are put in public places like airports so people can learn a life-saving skill.  And I’ve heard so many incredible stories about how CPR can save a life.  It’s all because of the schools, teachers, kids, and countless supporters of the AHA who make this happen.

Where she sees herself in 5 to 10 years: 
I’ll soon be starting a new job as a data steward at Hartford HealthCare.  When the opportunity arose, I accepted the offer because it will provide me with new challenges and skills to advance my career.  In 5 years, I hope to become more knowledgeable about healthcare data; perhaps even grad school can be in the cards.  I see this company as the place where I can build the rest of my career.  In 10 years, I’d love to be a manager.  I’ve always enjoyed being a leader and helping people learn, grow, and succeed.

Her favorite thing about HYPE: 
I first learned about HYPE several years ago when I saw it posted on social media.  Since then, I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to join.  It seemed like a great opportunity to meet other young professionals in the area, get involved in volunteer projects within the community, and have an overall positive impact on the Hartford region.  In the past year that I’ve been a member, HYPE has proved to meet these expectations and exceed them in proving the city’s motto, “Hartford Has It.”  I love that there are many aspects of the group, from networking at happy hours to taking a more active role in organizing events.  Joining the Community Involvement Committee has been a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to another great year.  Participating in community service has always been important to me, so I’m grateful that HYPE has aligned me with other young professionals who share similar values.

Her hobbies and interests outside of work:  
My current main interest is learning how to live a healthier lifestyle.  Three years ago, I signed up to work out with a trainer at my gym (shout out to Big Sky in Newington!).  Since then, I’ve been doing group strength training 2-3 times a week, and it has taught me the importance of finding a balance between strength exercising and cardio.  I’ve never been much of a runner when it comes to cardio, but I’ve always wanted to change that.  After learning about run-walk intervals by training with the running store Fleet Feet, I have now completed two 5K's at Celebrate West Hartford.  My true goal is to run the entire duration, so perhaps this will be the year where I finally accomplish this.  I am also trying to become a better cook in the kitchen (I’ve come a long way since I used to be afraid of under-cooking chicken!).  I also enjoy being outside and checking out CT’s hiking trails/mountains.  I’ve only been to a few places up until this point, but I look forward to checking out more of them this year.

Contact Info: Janine Belsky