The Medicare RightsCenter recently spoke with former staff member Mary-Ann Etiebet, M.D., who is currently the executive director at Merck for Mothers, about her time at Medicare Rights and what made her become a generous donor to the organization. Mary-Ann has more than two decades of experience improving health care outcomes for vulnerable populations, and her work began when she was hired at Medicare Rights as a health advocacy fellow in 1996, and she continued on as an education associate the following year. She remembers how Medicare Rights grew during her time there, with only five full-time staff members when she started and about a dozen when she left, as well as an increased operating budget.
“What I took from that experience is that a small, dedicated group of people can really grow and start something, and can become an organization that helps hundreds of thousands of people each year,” Mary-Ann said. “My Medicare Rights experience was that you can build something that becomes a critical, sustainable institution. It was very inspirational in that way.”
Mary-Ann added that Medicare Rights was very helpful to her when she was just beginning her career in health care, so she wants to give back to the organization. “It was supportive from a professional development perspective, but also from a personal perspective. I made some really good friendships and learned a lot. I learned confidence in my work,” she said. “I donate to Medicare Rights because I want to make sure that the organization continues to support new graduates to identify what they’re good at. Medicare Rights is such a supportive place to work, and it really set the bar for workplace culture and environment.”
Mary-Ann is also inspired by the organization’s approach to health care. “Medicare Rights reinforced my belief that health care—or taking care of people’s health—is multi dimensional. It’s not just providing medical care; you really have to understand the whole system in order to better serve patients.”
Medicare Rights is proud to have Mary-Ann as an alum and donor. Her generosity helps the organization as it continues to expand its assistance to older adults and people with disabilities—and also supports the dedicated staff members who do this crucial work.
Thank you to all of Medicare Rights’ donors who make this work possible.