Carmelita Nelson from Matter
This was a Be The Change Award Submission by Hannah Hegman of Matter.
Carmelita devotedly serves Matter by playing an active part in every aspect of Matter programs. As a Diabetes Educator at HCMC, Carmelita used her network and expertise to help craft the contents of the MATTERbox. This has included connecting with Matter and the Diabetes Education team at HCMC as well as making recommendations for the contents of the MATTERbox. After formulation, Carmelita helped to integrate the MATTERbox into the Diabetes Education program at HCMC. HCMC has 80% of their clientele living at or below the poverty line with the number one diagnosis being diabetes. Through the Diabetes Education program, nurses are working with the clients to educate them on how to manage their diabetes with a healthy diet. Over the past year, the program has distributed 240 MATTERboxes and the integration of the MATTERboxes has increased the program completion rate by 25% with some clients able to go off of injected insulin by simply changing their eating habits as modeled through the MATTERbox.
Carmelita further donates her time in a variety of ways as a member of partnering agency, Philippines Medical Missions Association. As a member, Carmelita volunteers 20-40 hours per year to help sort and package medical supplies at our warehouse. This year Carmelita is participating in her fifth medical mission trip to the Philippines. Carmelita has also forged the relationship between Matter and Dr. Sidney Jones at HCMC. Through this connection, Matter has been presented with the opportunity to partner with World Vision to do a large hospital project in Zambia
Outside these two main programs, Carmelita has also assisted Matter by volunteering at the Night to Matter Gala. She has also helped to provide health education materials needed to potentially secure a $100,000 grant to increase access to medical care in Panama.