Welcome to the thirty-fifth episode of The Gap Minders! Today, we are speaking with the amazing Nick Macchione, who is the Agency Director of the Health & Human Services Agency in San Diego County!Listen to “Episode 35 | Nick Macchione, Agency Director, Health & Human Services Agency, San Diego County” on Spreaker.
In this absolutely incredible episode touching upon so many gaps and issues, Nancy and Jose are joined in studio by Nick Macchione, the Agency Director for the Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA). In leading HHSA and its $3 billion budget and 8,000 employees, we learn that Nick, an immigrant from Italy, leads from where he started in life. His immigrant family, hard-working yet also in need of public assistance, shaped how he thinks, leads and provides services. In fact, the arc of his life was imprinted by the very workers providing assistance to his family – he knew he wanted to do what they were doing – helping families in need.
Amazingly enough, the young man touched by public service, and after 30 years of serving the needs of the people, Nick now leads an agency serving over 1.2 million citizens of San Diego County – one third of the residents. From food and housing to many other services necessary to thrive, HHSA is there day in and day out. And one of the most innovative models in the country, founded here in San Diego by Nick and his team in 2010, is “Live Well San Diego.” With the goal being quite intentionally audacious – to see that every human is safe, healthy and thriving – Live Well San Diego has the support of over 500 organizations in making the goal a reality. Nick is passionate about every human reaching their full potential.
From his vantage point, Nick sees it all and this conversation with Nancy and Jose is very wide ranging and a must listen for leaders and public health professionals. From homelessness and innovation to literacy and fentanyl, this episode has it all. And, when asked what is the one gap he would really like to tackle with some innovation, his answer was fast and forceful: POVERTY. He sees it as the driver of so many issues and challenges for individuals, families and society.
Layers and layers to this conversation, though, are what makes this special – it’s all in here. Quite the episode and here are some other amazing takeaways from the interview with Nick Macchione:
- He is inspired by the level of coopetition in San Diego, with collaborative innovation being the driving force for why San Diego is so special
- The key to delivering services is to make connections “where they’re at” and to connect, build trust and then link residents to services
- The excellent innovation during the pandemic, from the convention center utilization to telehealth
- 20% of San Diego County residents are dealing with mental health challenges
- The answers to the Rapid Fire questions!
A truly uplifting, educational, and impactful interview from a phenomenal gap minder. Thank you, Nick Macchione, for your contributions to helping making San Diego a better community with thriving humans, and for joining us on The Gap Minders.
Enjoy this episode and be sure to subscribe to the show.
If you have any questions or want to contact Nancy or Jose, please send an email to email@example.com. Thank you for listening.
To learn more about the two social impact organizations making The Gap Minders possible, please visit www.TheGapMinders.org.