NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Madeline D'Onfro, MPH

September 26, 2023

Madeline D’OnfroFull name and title: Madeline D'Onfro, MPH

Time with NICHQ: 1 year

How has your background led you to join a national children’s health organization? 

Prior to joining NICHQ, I worked in direct services. I worked primarily in gender violence prevention, housing, and homelessness. Through that work, I was able to really clearly see how when we create systems that protect those who are marginalized the most among us, we all do better. So, you know, my community is stronger when all of my neighbors have a safe home. When they all have safe relationships, they're able to access education and healthcare needs. At NICHQ, we're working to improve the health outcomes for children and their families. Through this work, we're really focusing on those with the highest needs. We know that when they do better, we all do better. I think my background has really led me to this work in a way that feels core to me and, really, my ethos. So I am excited to be here.

You’ve worked on a variety of projects during your time at NICHQ– what does your role as Project Manager entail?

It entails a lot of different things, and it does differ across projects. Across both projects, I support putting together events such as online learning sessions or in-person events that we've hosted with awardees. I also support the creation of resources for community and clinical experts and help facilitate the completion of deliverables for the different projects. All around, supporting my project team and being effective, which can look a lot of different ways.

You currently work on the Hemoglobinopathies National Coordinating Center (HNCC) project, what is one highlight of being a PM on this project and participating in sickle cell work?

There have been so many highlights of the HNCC project. I think though one of the biggest is the fact that through this project we're able to coordinate and bring together individuals across the country whose work focuses on sickle cell, and that includes individuals who work in community settings as well as in clinical settings. Time and again, when we bring these folks together, I've been able to witness the passion and the care that the practitioners who work with people living with this condition have.  So for me, being able to learn from these individuals and then also to be able to help create spaces where they can come together and share their expertise has just been truly amazing and really valuable.

What is one goal your team has for the HNCC project?

In this upcoming year, we're really hoping to be even more strategic in the technical assistance we provide to project participants. So many of the organizations that we work with are providing tons of incredible services at the community level. They're really busy. They are doing a lot of incredible work. We want to be even more intentional with the time that we spend together and working with them to think through questions like, what expertise we can collectively utilize to advance research and quality of care? What resources can we co-create? And, how can we work together really intentionally to improve the lives of those with SCD?