The world is filled with all kinds of leaders. There are those amongst us who yell, scream, cajole, and carry on in an effort to get folks to act. But there is another kind of leader, a person who goes about their work seeking little attention, motivated simply by that which is right or just. To know Julie Frankel is to understand that she was the epitome of that second kind of leadership. Julie, was the Associate Executive Director of the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey (HANJ). She passed away this past week.
Julie in her role at HANJ, worked on insurance issues and worked on political concerns for community members across the Garden State. In their time, Julie and her colleague and friend, Elena Bostick, have done remarkable things to improve the circumstances of people with bleeding disorders in New Jersey. Julie and Elena have secured state monies to subsidize health insurance policies, and negotiated an exception to the statute of limitations after tainted blood products made community members ill, so they could bring legal actions when that option was inconceivable to community members elsewhere.
Julie did all of this with little fanfare. Being self-congratulatory was simply not her way. For Julie, her work seemed to be about doing the next right thing for consumers. She did this with quiet dignity. And in doing so, the national community stands in awe at the full measure of her work.
Julie Frankel was taken from us too soon. Her committed dedication to our community is worthy of note. Julie leaves us at a time when there are looming fights over the horizon, but her legacy is her commitment to addressing those issues with clarity of purpose.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have gotten to know Julie, and to have been able to view her work, her intellect and her compassion. Thank you Julie for your sustained contribution to the bleeding disorders community in Jersey and nationally. Know that your work was appreciated and that you will be both remembered and missed.