MSW Alumna Jameca Patrick-Singleton Named Chief Recovery Officer

Jameca Patrick-Singleton

Jameca Patrick-Singleton received her Master of Social Work degree from MSU with a concentration in Organization and Community Leadership. Recently, she was hired by the City of Flint to be the Chief Recovery Officer following the Flint Water Crisis.

What are the responsibilities of the Chief Recovery Officer and what has motivated you to take on such an enormous responsibility?

The main goal of this position is to maximize the involvement of Flint residents in the recovery and rebuilding of the Flint water infrastructure and recovery support services. Also, I will ensure that community residents are well informed and engaged in community dialogue, visioning and collective action that advance the city’s recovery and restores the health and well-being of its residents.

I was motivated to apply for this position because, being a lifelong resident of Flint, I understand the frustration that the water crisis caused. I also understand the need of the residents to have their voices heard at every level of the recovery process. I was excited about the possibility of being that liaison. I felt that I could really make a difference in the lives of my fellow Flint residents by ensuring that they have, not only a voice, but access to information and resources to help them through the process.

Do you have specific goals that you would like to accomplish as the Chief Recovery Officer? What timeframe? What are the biggest obstacles in accomplishing your goals?

Yes. One of the first things that I did when I came aboard was to create a 90 day plan. That plan includes meeting with residents and key community partners to discuss the needs of the community as well as the water recovery efforts that are already taking place. The plan also includes working with a team of people to ensure that the logistics of the water PODS (Points of Distribution Sites) are worked out so that there are no issues with keeping four PODS open for the foreseeable future.

City of Flint

Also working with the ReCast (Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma) project will make sure that the community has access to programs that promote trauma informed care. The last thing on my 90 day plan is to work on the Flint Lead Exposure Registry (FLExR) team. This is the team that is starting the process of developing and implementing a Flint Lead Exposure Registry to ensure that residents who were exposed have information regarding how to be added to the list as well as continued access to services.

I think that the only major obstacle that I’ll face in achieving my goals is that there is so much information out there right now. People aren’t sure what and who to trust. However, I must admit that so far, I’ve received a really warm welcome from the community.

How has your MSW helped to prepare you for the position?

Oh my goodness! MY MSW has been key to helping prepare me in this position. In grad school, my concentration was Organization and Community Practice. So I gained a unique combination of skills. I’m able to meet people where they are regardless of educational and social economic backgrounds. I also have the ability to understand systems and process and I’m able to relate how those systems and processes impact people’s everyday lives.

It is these skills that are helping me to help the citizens of Flint to move from crisis to recovery. It is these skills that allow me to be able to work with everyone from a citizen who may need to know where the closest water pod is located, to local, state and federal administrators who may need information regarding the local impact of a new policy.