Meet SSM Health Community Health Manager Nikeya Bramlett
When it comes to caring for patients, SSM Health is dedicated to caring for the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Beyond that, the organization believes that to truly care for the health of each patient it must also care for the health of the community as a whole. To that end, SSM Health is investing its time, talents and treasure in addressing the health issues our communities face. While it is a sizeable job, Nikeya Bramlett has stepped into a role dedicated at just that – caring for our community’s health.
With a bachelor of science in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA and master of health administration from Georgia State University, Bramlett brings a unique perspective to community health. When she joined SSM Health in July 2020 as an Administrative Fellow Bramlett was tasked with learning more about the operational workings of a large, integrated health care network. It was the organization’s commitment and connection to the community that drew her into more focused work in addressing community health issues and inspired her to pursue her current position as Community Health Manager.
“I love connecting with our greater community. It’s a reminder that healthcare does not simply end with the patients we serve,” she says. “Everyone in our communities can benefit from education, prevention and support from our partner organizations. I am determined to collaborate with these organizations to improve the health of our most vulnerable communities.”
Bramlett didn’t waste any time in embedding herself in community work. As a Fellow, she coordinated and helped grow community partnerships focused on healthcare worker education. Through a partnership with Madison College, SSM Health educates, trains and ultimately employs new CNAs. Bramlett’s work to develop and coordinate the program resulted in not only increased applications, but a higher level of diversity in the applicants – with at least 40% of new recruits representing an ethnically diverse candidate pool – and an expansion to Sauk County.
Beyond this work, Bramlett proved to be a productive and innovative partner across multiple projects, including SSM Health’s Regional Inclusion Advisory Council and a special project that helped identify medical and office equipment that could be recycled or reused as SSM Health transitioned care from its old Fish Hatchery Road clinic to the new South Madison Campus.
“Nikeya demonstrates the vision, mission and values of SSM Health as she ministers to the communities we serve. Her kindness, compassion and fierce dedication to identifying community needs and implementing programs that address those needs is inspiring,” says Dan Dwyer, SSM Health Wisconsin Regional Director of Mission Integration. “She co-leads our diversity, equity and inclusion work, supports numerous community partnerships and serves on several community groups. Her positive energy literally radiates from her whole being and impacts all those who come in contact with her.”
In February 2022, Bramlett transitioned into her current role as Community Health Manager for both Dane and Sauk Counties. As a Community Health Manager, Bramlett leads organizational efforts to address community-wide identified health needs and represents SSM Health by building critical community partnerships to serve those most marginalized.
“Nikeya has been a great addition to our Community Health team. Her intentional presence in Baraboo and Madison ensures alignment of resources to better support needs in these communities,” says Kyle Nondorf, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – Madison President and SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Baraboo interim President. “Her ability to develop relationships with community leaders will foster partnerships to create sustainable solutions to remove barriers for health and wellness.”
These community partnerships often address the underlying social issues that impact individual health. For instance, in Sauk County, SSM Health supports the Baraboo Area Homeless Shelter with financial support for the services they provide to the local unhoused population which includes safe shelter, help in accessing health care services, food security and more. Here in Madison, Bramlett is involved in partnerships with local food pantries, Harambee Village’s doula program, and the Dane County Health Council’s efforts in addressing racial disparities for black birthing persons and infant mortality rates.
“Nikeya has been an essential addition to our Community Health Improvement team for Wisconsin. Her expertise in serving marginalized communities and ability to relate to people from all walks of life has made all the difference in building meaningful relationships in our community,” says Megan Timm, SSM Health Wisconsin Regional Director of Community Health. “Nikeya has an eye for seeing how SSM Health can support community partners and continuously looks for opportunities for us to be more present in our community.”
Bramlett’s unique abilities to connect with others and develop new ways at addressing health and social issues our community faces help elevate and advance SSM Health’s own vision for peace, hope and health for every person, family and community, especially those most in need.