DAVIESS CO. – Dr. Michelle Pitcher was awarded the 2022 National Lyndon Baines Johnson Leadership Award at the National Community Action Convention in New York.
Named for President Lyndon Baines Johnson, this award recognizes Community Action practitioners whose expertise on what works to promote greater economic opportunity for children and families is known and respected at the national, state, and local levels.
These practitioners have led their Community Action Agency in connecting a significant number of children and families to greater opportunity, transforming their lives, and making their communities a better place to live. Denise Harlow, CEO of the National Community Action Partnership said, “NCAP believes Michelle is the personification of this award.”
Throughout her 17-year career in Community Action, Michelle has increased the reach and depth of health services throughout Southwestern Indiana. She has increased health clinics beyond Knox and Daviess Counties into 3 additional counties; partnered with Covering Kids & Families of IN to provide health insurance navigator services, and increased the efficiency of local clinics.
These changes have resulted in thousands more Hoosiers gaining access to health care and improving their lives. She has championed bringing training regarding human trafficking, trauma-informed care, LGBTQ+, stigmas, and DEI, to our community. Michelle teaches first aid, CPR, and Bloodborne Pathogens to staff inside and outside of Pace. Through Michelle’s leadership, three clinics under Michelle’s purview are certified LGBTQ+ Inclusive OutCare locations.
During the COVID-19 social distancing situation, Michelle initiated telehealth services and expanded her Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) certification to include pediatric victims of sexual assault. Working with the Indiana Family Health Council, Pace’s Health Connection clinics were able to add these vital services in clinics. Dr. Kristin Adams, President & CEO of Indiana Family Health Council said, “Driven is an understatement when talking about Michelle’s efforts. She is willing to pilot new initiatives. With each new idea or challenge, Michelle’s analytical skills are always on display as she discusses the potential pros and cons of each action. Dr. Pitcher is one of the key people IFHC reaches
out to when new staff from other networks need to be trained or they require advice or guidance.”
In 2020 Michelle was the recipient of a statewide award – the John Niederman Rural Development Leadership Award from Prosperity Indiana for her work in expanding health services. In 2022 she was named the Public Servant of the Year by the Knox County Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the University of Southern Indiana’s Foundation Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award by Adjunct Faculty.
Dr. Bertha Proctor, the Pace CEO, said, “I am not at all surprised Michelle was awarded this honor. She has tirelessly worked to improve her own professional development and encouraged others to do the same. She has brought funding, jobs, and needed services to multiple communities. In addition, she is actively involved in numerous community events, clubs, and activities.”