Sheray Wallace, a Community Resource Educator at the Center for Patient Partnerships and founder of the Meadowood Health Partnership, recently received the International Trailblazers Award. This award recognizes “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things”. Sheray is incredibly honored to be recognized for her work in providing resources to the greater Madison community.
At CPP, Sheray supervises undergraduate students providing resource navigation to patients so they can address social, financial, and legal issues that are impacting their health. Sheray is a passionate teacher who helps students understand patients’ whole illness experience and the inequities that many patients from communities of color face. Sheray, a certified Community Health Worker, founded Meadowood Health Partnership to provide her neighbors with services like education on medical issues and access to medical equipment medication reviews through the Fitchburg Pharmacy. She also organizes community events like Senior Bingo and community dinners that bring the community together around health. Her goal is to build relationships with people in the community.
Sheray Wallace’s community organizing began in public health more than 25 years ago as a receptionist for an orthodontist office in her hometown of Chicago. In 1999, Sheray moved to Madison where she received her CNA certification and found a passion in taking care of people directly. A series of personal losses ignited her passion for helping others understand their health and find resources to support them. The Race to Equity group in Madison first introduced Sheray to community organizing. Through this group, she interviewed Madison community members and saw that there was a lack of resources and outreach about healthcare.
After finding her passion in advocacy and outreach, Wallace returned to school to receive a degree in social work. The connections she made during her education and field work helped her discover that she was doing the work she wanted to do before she fully understood what that job was. Now, at the Center for Patient Partnerships and MHP, Sheray provides incredible support for the community that has not gone unnoticed. When asked what she plans to do next, Sheray said she plans to “put her mask on and get to work doing what she does best”.