Congressman James McGovern was recognized for his superhuman advocacy efforts on behalf of the nation's community health centers and the vulnerable people they serve at this year's Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers' annual awards gala, Marvels of Massachusetts: Celebrating the Superhumans Among Us.
Philip Johnston, of Johnston & Associates, was also honored for his more than 25 years of fighting for passage of state and national health reform legislation beginning with his tenure as the former Secretary of Health and Human Services under Governor Michael Dukakis in the late 1980s. Johnston received the Edward M. Kennedy Founder Award, established in 2010, to recognize the achievements of health care consumers, administrators, clinicians and leaders who continue to protect and promote health care access as a right for all rather than a privilege for a few.
Six health center employees, chosen from across the state for their outstanding efforts on behalf of patients, were the major focus of the evening:
Outstanding Massachusetts Community Health Center Physician Award
Philip (Chip) Severin, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Codman Square Health Center
Joseph M. Smith Consumer Award
Benjamin Cartagena, Chair, Board of Directors
Holyoke Health Center
Outstanding Massachusetts Community Health Center Director Award
Karen Gardner, Chief Executive Officer
Community Health Center of Cape Cod
Edward M. Kennedy Founders Award
Philip (Phil) Johnston, President and CEO
Johnston Associates, LLC
Outstanding Massachusetts Community Health Center Employees
Sharon T. Callender, RN, MPH, Coordinator, Family & Community Health Services
Mattapan Community Health Center
Octavio Hernandez, Enrollment Specialist and Medical Interpreter
Community Health Programs, Great Barrington
Helen Phillips, Senior Systems Applications Analyst
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
The annual event highlights the work and mission of community health centers, which provide primary and preventive health care to more than 820,000 state residents.