Ann Marie Rakovic

With JSI since 1997

When I first moved to the Bay State I thought I would only be at JSI short term, working on the national Ryan White Technical Assistance Contract (RWTAC) that I was recruited for. But the company is so great and the work is so rewarding that I decided to stay—and it’s now been 18 years!

Ann Marie Rakovic

Ann Marie (far right) after running a marathon at the Great Wall of China

JSI is a company that is committed to doing good in the world—and that has a knack for hiring brilliant and dedicated people who create a wonderful employment atmosphere. I love the work I do, managing programs that ultimately help people lead healthier lives.

I managed the RWTAC for six years, supporting local government and community organizations that provided medical care to HIV-positive persons predominantly within communities of color. I oversaw 400 consultants and six TA coordinators in the delivery of over 300 on and off-site grantee trainings and the development of national training and resource materials. Our project supported public health trend identification and we designed grantee technical assistance needs assessment and evaluation protocols.

After that, I spent 12 years as the director to the Tri-state Smokers’ Helpline funded by the health departments of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. I managed multi-faceted state tobacco control and treatment initiatives serving more than 141,000 clients, and spearheaded the operationalization of QuitWorks—an innovative fax and electronic referral program that was sanctioned by the CDC as a best practice.

Ann Marie Rakovic OZ Dewey

Ann Marie and her greyhound, Ozzie.

I’m originally from New York City and grew up in a neighborhood called Yorkville on the Upper East Side. The building I lived in is located right at the 18-mile mark of the NYC Marathon. Every year my mom and I would watch the marathon from my 23rd floor window. As a child I dreamt of running a marathon but never imagined that I would run 12 of them, including one in China with routes along sections of the Great Wall.

I am passionate about animal advocacy and social justice and am on the board of directors at a local kennel called Greyhound Friends, which places greyhounds in loving homes. The program is one of the first in the country to address the care and adoption needs for ex-racing dogs when they are no longer profitable at racetracks. On weekends you can find me doing “meet and greets” at various pet stores and at a local nursing home with my therapy dog, Ozzie, the third greyhound I have adopted.

A Project to Remember

I’ll never forget the summer in 2010 when we ran a free nicotine patch giveaway called Ready, Set, Quit for Boston residents through the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline. We served 20,000 clients in two months! It was epic. While the call center phone lines did not blow up they sure were hot with calls coming in every few seconds. We helped a lot of people that year and saved lives, given the Massachusetts Health Department estimates that 9,000 each year die of the effects of tobacco.

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