October 25, 2021
Julia Fantacone, a project manager in Altarum’s Center for Women’s Health, has been nominated as a finalist for the 21st Annual March of Dimes Heroines of Washington Awards. The awards recognize and honor professional women in the Washington metropolitan area for their dedication to community service.
This year’s finalists represent a diverse group of women who continued their commitments to volunteerism in addition to their successful careers during a year with tremendous challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to her work at Altarum, which includes co-directing maternal and child health workforce performance and capacity building activities for HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau and serving as policy lead for the National Coalition for Sexual Health, Julia has volunteered as a Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital troop leader for over a decade.
As a troop leader, Julia has enjoyed building relationships with the girls and their families through hiking, camping, and other outdoor adventures. The troop has engaged in dozens of community service activities, including cleaning up parks and rivers, blazing new hiking trails, and sending cards to seniors and Veterans, among others. In planning activities, Julia seeks to expand her troop members' view of the diverse community they live in, the disparities that exist within that community, and the amazing organizations supporting the community.
“By the time the girls entered high school, they were proactively asking for more service opportunities versus “just for fun” activities like ice skating or kayaking,” said Julia. “It was gratifying to see that my leadership had fostered the development of a deep love of service in the girls. One girl with a passion for soccer developed a fitness program to reduce health disparities amongst teen girls in her community.”
At Altarum, Julia actively volunteers with the Charitable Contributions Committee, where she recently led a back-to-school trivia competition that donated over $1,770.00 for nonprofits serving teachers and students.
“Through her work at Altarum, Julia has demonstrated a commitment to supporting women and children impacted by social and structural determinants of health to reduce disparities and improve health equity,” said Sheryl Mathis, director of Altarum’s Center for Women’s Health. “It isn’t surprising that this commitment extends to her personal life through volunteerism.”
This year’s awards mark a return to the Heroines of Washington's in-person gala. All finalists will be honored, and winners will be announced during the gala event on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner.
Funds raised by the event help support March of Dimes programs, research, community services, education, and advocacy to advance research that supports the health of all moms and babies. Since 2001, March of Dimes has honored over 126 “Heroines” and raised more than $3.6 million to support the March of Dimes mission.
As a nonprofit that works with federal and state health agencies and foundations to improve the health of individuals with fewer financial resources and populations disenfranchised by the health care system, Altarum takes pride in attracting and employing passionate and committed community leaders. Congratulations on your nomination, Julia!