Jimena Loveluck named United Way of Washtenaw County’s Woman of the Year

Loveluck honored for ‘exemplary leadership during the pandemic’

Jimena Loveluck. (Courtesy: United Way of Washtenaw County)

ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County has named county health officer Jimena Loveluck as its 2022 Woman of the Year.

Loveluck will be honored at UWWC’s annual “Power of the Purse” event, which will be held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Jimena Loveluck exemplifies what the Power of the Purse initiative is about: women taking action to address community issues,” president of the United Way of Washtenaw County, and member of the Power of the Purse committee Pam Smith said in a statement. “Jimena displayed exemplary leadership during the pandemic and continues to go above and beyond every day to make sure our community has access to vaccines, current information, testing, masks or personal protective equipment (PPE), and appropriate medical care.”

UWWC selected Loveluck for the honor for her leadership during the pandemic and for her efforts to ensure that testing, vaccines and up-to-date information were distributed equitably.

Loveluck released the following statement in response to the announcement:

I am incredibly grateful to be recognized and honored among so many dedicated women serving our community. It’s not easy to describe the impact of the pandemic on those in our community that have been severely ill, lost loved ones, or endured other pandemic-related hardships. This is especially true among communities of color where we have seen COVID compound long-term inequities and unjust health disparities. It has also affected our already strained public health workforce.

But each day, I am thankful for those around me that lend me strength and continue to work tirelessly to respond to this pandemic and protect the health of our entire community. I continue to be hopeful that we will find unity around the importance of protecting health and supporting community recovery and change. This will require bolstering our public health infrastructure, and truly committing to health and healthy opportunities for all.

Prior to her role as Health Officer at the Washtenaw County Health Department, Loveluck led initiatives to increase health equity, integrate public health services and combat the opioid crisis as Deputy Health Officer at the Health Department.

Prior to joining the Health Department, she was the Vice President of Community Research and Innovation for UNIFIED – HIV Health and Beyond and the Vice Chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Health. Loveluck also served for fifteen years as the president and CEO of Ypsilanti’s HIV/AIDS Resources Center.

She is the Washtenaw County Health Department’s first bilingual and first Latinx Health Officer.

Women United is a nationwide United Way network that consists of 55,000 members across 137 communities. Here in Washtenaw County, the UWWC Women’s Leadership Initiative has given more than $250,000 in grants through its Power of the Purse event to programs that promote women’s self-sufficiency and success.

The Woman of the Year honor was established by UWWC in 2009. Past recipients include Eileen Spring, Molly Dobson, Dr. Lori Pierce, Cecilia Fileti, Cynthia Wilbanks, Verna McDaniel, Beth Fitzsimmons, Martha Darling, Pat Warner, Denise Rabidoux and Lucy Ann Lance.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.