On October 5th, 2017, Tricia Balazovic was presented with the 2017 AABC Community Award at the American Association of Birth Centers Conference in Anchorage, AK. As Tricia’s colleague and friend for 5 years, it was an honor to present it to her. Below is the speech given for the presentation. ~Mary-Signe
Let me tell you about Tricia Balazovic.
Do you know one of those people who can look at a problem and immediately see several different solutions from several different perspectives? That is Tricia’s baseline.
She is a savvy consumer of everything including healthcare. When she was looking for a different experience for the birth of her second child she naturally sought out the new option in the Twin Cities, an out of hospital birth center called Minnesota Birth Center. The experience she had during her pregnancy and birth convinced her that she should start to devote her considerable talents toward strengthening this institution.
She started at the Minnesota Birth Center by beginning a doula internship program. She did this on a volunteer basis. This is a program that exists still today and has provided the benefit of clients receiving doula care, and doulas receiving experience in out of hospital birth and midwifery model of care.
Tricia has a background in business and economics and one day she asked Dr. Calvin, the owner of the practice, if she could see some of the financial information. With that simple question and the wise answer from Dr. Calvin of “yes” Tricia has been influencing Minnesota Birth Center and maternity care in the greater Twin Cities metro area.
She has done so many things to advance the operation of the birth center. I cannot give you the details of all of them because I think we have a finite amount of time here. Let me just brag about one of her accomplishments. After learning about health care billing from the ground up on her own, she has worked tirelessly to make MBC in-network with EVERY payer in the Twin Cities. Birth Center birth has become a realistic option for so many families in Minnesota who would not have been able to afford it because of her tireless, thankless, invisible work.
I want you, Tricia, to know that we see your work. We know we would not be where we are without you. Without the hours, phone calls, frustrating conversations, run-around emails, and general misery of dealing with multiple payers, the Minnesota Birth Center would not be where we are.
Tricia, we cannot thank you enough. I am so honored that we can present you with this commendation tonight as a concrete recognition of your integral place and value to Minnesota Birth Center and the families we serve.