As a social worker, nurse and midwife, Mariah Hill has seen the challenges facing the vulnerable and voiceless, from families living with HIV/AIDS in Seattle to the poor on the streets of Calcutta to the homeless in Tijuana, Mexico.
Her experiences sealed her lifelong concern for those living on the margins of society and stoked her commitment to social justice. They also fueled more than a decade-long journey that resulted in her Doctor in Nurse Practice degree from the University of Washington in 2017 and the launch of her career as a nurse/midwife with Community Physician Group OB/GYN at Community Hospital in Missoula.
"I love taking care of women during pregnancy because it is a time of transformation in their lives, a time when I find that most people are a little more open to change,'' said the married mother of two.
"I have had so many stunning experiences that make me a firm believer that people will go much farther if we are willing to walk alongside them from the starting point of where they are instead of focusing on where we think they ought to be. … I am passionate about providing exceptional care to women, particularly those who are are vulnerable or have been marginalized in some way.''
That passion was reflected in Grace Benasutti's nomination for Hill, which recounted Hill's extraordinary efforts to find a home for a woman who was two weeks away from giving birth and sleeping in her car.
"In an effort to avoid having this mom lose her child due to experiencing homelessness, Mariah connected with resources throughout town and went above and beyond to find shelter for this woman'' and let her "bond with her newborn in a stable shelter program.''
Hill said her desire to serve others is rooted in her Catholic faith. She draws on her experience as a social worker, child and family service worker, doula, mother, nurse and midwife to help her succeed.
"I believe in the dignity of every human being,'' Hill said. "I also believe in every person's capacity to create change in her life, no matter how bleak it looks or how many barriers there are. I am hopelessly hopeful, and my patients keep me that way.''