Accretive Health Employee Finds Joy in Charitable Work

Margaret Chewning is an Accretive Health employee who, through the work of Accretive Helping Hands, has raised thousands of dollars each year during the Christmas holiday and supplied area families with food, cash donations, gift cards, and cleaning supplies, among other items.

Chicago, IL, August 29, 2014 --( Memories of going without a Christmas as a young girl have motivated an inspirational woman in Detroit, Mich. “My family received help when I was a child and I have never forgotten…the excitement I felt having a present under the tree with my name on it,” said Margaret Chewning. “My father believed in giving back and when he passed away in 1990, I promised him I would continue his ‘giving back’ project for as long as I was able.”

In order to continue her father’s legacy, Chewning worked for the not-for-profit Catholic Youth Organization in Detroit, Mich., for more than 13 years. In order to obtain more community service experience, she transferred to a parish, Our Lady of Sorrows, in Farmington Hills, Mich., as an athletic director. There, she developed programs that allowed inner city children to experience the same activities as children in the wealthier school districts. “It was a wonderful venture,” she said of the experience. “I also started collecting food instead of money at basketball games to re-stock food pantries in Detroit.”

Today, the 58 year-old eligibility specialist at Accretive Health is celebrating four years of successful fundraising at the company’s Medicaid Eligibility Hub. The 70-person Warren, Mich.-office participates in the charitable work of Accretive Helping Hands. Accretive Helping Hands is how Accretive Health’s 1,750 U.S. employees extend their volunteerism across the country. Accretive Helping Hands helps patients and their families navigate the difficulties encountered after treatment by partnering with community healthcare and social work providers. Through Accretive Helping Hands, they have raised thousands of dollars each year during the Christmas holiday and supplied area families with food, cash donations, gift cards, and cleaning supplies, among other items.

The planning for the Christmas donation begins in September with 50/50 drawings amongst the staff each pay period, popcorn sales, and dress down days where employees donate $5 or five non-perishable food items. The kickoff begins with a “Detroit Lion’s Opening Day Tailgate Part/Coney Island Barbeque” event. The internal fundraiser features the sale of Coney dogs, chips, cotton candy, popcorn, peanuts, nachos, and non-alcoholic beverages at work. Team challenges are part of the day’s entertainment, and this year a raffle basket is planned that will include tickets to a Detroit Lions game and other sports memorabilia.

“Part of what I do best is solicit donations, like the Lions’ tickets,” Chewning explained. “Local stores have donated a case of peanuts for our kick-off, and hams and turkeys for our families in need because of all the money we spend at these stores throughout the year.”

One of the reasons Chewning is a regular in the local food stores is that she started selling concession-style snacks in the office as a fundraiser two years ago. Dubbed “MAC’s Snacks” by her co-workers (the acronym MAC stands for her full name: Margaret Ann Chewning), the effort began as a convenience for co-workers who were unable to leave the building during the work day for a snack. “So far this year, we have already collected $500,” Chewning stated.

Chewning is always looking for new ways to inspire her co-workers to give back to the community. Just recently, the group hosted a “Back to School” event and collected enough school supplies to fill three large boxes and provided a cash donation to a very grateful grade school teacher.

“I may have organized and kept things moving, but I never could have continued to maintain my personal commitment to the community without my fellow associates who make up the Accretive Helping Hands team,” said Chewning. “It makes me feel so good to work with so many giving and caring people and a company that is ‘The Best’ at giving back!”

About Accretive Helping Hands
Accretive Helping Hands is a non-profit organization (501(c)(3)) whose mission is to partner with healthcare and social service providers to jointly identify patients and their families and assist these individuals in a way that extends beyond the episode of care. Those wishing to make a donation to Accretive Helping Hands can email the charity at

About Accretive Health
At Accretive Health, we are inspired daily by those we serve and are driven to succeed for our partner clients so they can continue to meet the vital healthcare needs of their communities. For more information, visit
Accretive Health
Maureen Erin Daugherty