LIGHT Health & Wellness Comprehensive Services Inc.
Deborah Rock was traveling the world as a disco recording artist in the late 1970s when she first noticed the impact that HIV and AIDS were having on people.
Touched by what she learned, she arranged benefit concerts to help those living with the diseases. When she returned to Baltimore, she volunteered at the University of Maryland Hospital to help babies born with AIDS, and by 1998, moved by what she saw, Rock started the nonprofit Baltimore Pediatric HIV Program (BPHP), a day care and respite care center for older children.
“While the hospital did an incredible job at meeting the children’s medical needs, families struggled with child care and other support services,” said Rock, executive director and CEO of LIGHT Health & Wellness Comprehensive Services. BPHP was renamed LIGHT in 2006 as it offered a broader range of services to families.
Over the past 21 years, Rock said BPHP and LIGHT have served more than 22,000 people through child care and other services including mental health and trauma support, health education and outreach, advocate training and caregiver support services.
Rock said the key to her success has been in building partnerships with other health care organizations such as the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Intensive Primary Care Clinic and the University of Maryland Pediatric AIDS Care and Evaluation Clinic.
“My career has been led by two concepts, building teams and helping people,” Rock said. “I see my position as CEO as a responsibility to improve the lives of others. The hallmark of a successful leader is their ability to create and sustain mutually beneficial collaborations. The tougher the economic times, the more collaboration and consensus-building becomes necessary.”