Over 350 friends and partners joined us on Friday, June 2nd to celebrate the inspirational achievements of our 2017 Health Equity Champions: Deborah Klein Walker, Shani Dowd, Jen Slonaker, Matt Sadof, and Megan Sandel. The morning was a powerful reminder of the significance of partnership to achieve impactful programs and policies, which uphold racial justice and move the dial to advance health equity for all people.
See this inspiring celebration on Twitter — #MPHASpringAwards #HealthEquityChampions
2017 Spring Awards Breakfast Honorees
Paul Revere Award
Deborah Klein Walker, EdD
Dr. Deborah Klein Walker, EdD, is a former Vice President and Senior Fellow at Abt Associates and has more than 40 years of experience as a behavioral science researcher, public health leader and advocate for public health and social justice. Dr. Walker spent 16 years with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she was the Maternal and Child Health Title V Director and Associate Commissioner for Programs and Prevention. Prior to state service, she was a faculty member for over a decade at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently, she is the President of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice; an editorial board member of the Maternal and Child Health Journal; an adjunct faculty member of the Boston University School of Public Health; and a Board Member of Family Voices, the Institute of Community Health and the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation. She is a former president of the American Public Health Association.
Lemuel Shattuck Award
Shani Dowd, BA, LHD(hc), LCSW
Shani Dowd, LCSW, HLD(hc) is Director of The Health Equity Roundtable, an operating program of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation., the charitable arm of Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare. Ms. Dowd is responsible for working with a wide range of health care, community-based and social service organizations in the Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare service area to improve services to populations and communities impacted by health disparities. Ms. Dowd has practiced in community, mental health and commercial health plan settings, and is highly praised for her deep understanding of systems issues that influence the delivery of health and behavioral health services. She has lectured widely and consulted across the U.S., and is a contributing author, Therapists on the Front Line: Psychotherapy with Gay Men in the Age of AIDS.
Alfred Frechette Award
Jen Slonaker, MSW
Jen Slonaker, MSW is the Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM). In this role, she oversees the delivery of high-quality, comprehensive sex education to 10,000 parents, youth, and professionals across Massachusetts annually, as well as PPLM’s internal training program. During her time at PPLM, the department authored a middle and high school curriculum, Get Real: Sex Education that Works, which is now on the US Health and Human Services list of evidence-based sex education programs and in use in 30 states, reaching over 200,000 young people a year.
Jen has been well recognized for her leadership, receiving the 2014 Planned Parenthood Education VP/Director of the Year award. She served as the board chair of the National Association of Planned Parenthood Leaders in Education and on the board of the MA Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.
Public Health Leadership in Medicine Award
Dr. Matt Sadof, MD & Megan Sandel, MD MPH
Since 1998, Dr. Matt Sadof, MD has worked to develop sustainable systems of care and further medical education for medically and socially fragile children at Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield, MA. Through his work, an asthma community health worker program specifically for children was established, now part of the Green Healthy Homes Social Investment Bond Initiative creating a regional center of excellence for asthma community health workers. Dr. Sadof currently serves as chair of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, and also directs 4C, a regional consultative care coordination program for children with medical complexity at the Baystate Children’s Hospital. He serves as an Associate Professor in Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate.
Dr. Megan Sandel, MD MPH, is the Associate Director of the GROW Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center, a Principal Investigator with Children’s Health Watch and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. The GROW Clinic is an outpatient subspecialty clinic started in 1984 to provide comprehensive specialty medical, nutritional, developmental and social services and dietary assistance to children from the Greater Boston area referred with Failure To Thrive (FTT) by their primary care physician
She is the former pediatric medical director of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless program, and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health. In 1998, she published with other doctors at Boston Medical Center, the DOC4Kids report, a first of it’s kind national report on how housing affects. In 2001, she became the first medical director of the founding site for medical-legal partnerships, Medical-Legal Partnership-Boston, and from 2007-2016 she served as the Medical Director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.
Dr. Sandel has served as a Principal Investigator for numerous NIH, HUD and foundation grants, working with the Boston Public Health Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to improve the health of vulnerable children, particularly those with asthma.