NoteWorthy – 10/7/18

Joseph Girard-Meli on October 7th, 2018


Emergency Responders Recognized at Lawrence General’s Legacy of Caring Gala

On Saturday, Sept. 29, close to 400 guests attended Lawrence General’s Legacy of Caring Gala at the Boston Marriot Burlington. This event provides an opportunity for friends, supporters, staff members, and community leaders to come together and celebrate the exceptional care provided by Lawrence General and all those who make it possible. The event raised close to $400,000 toward advanced clinical care.

As part of this year’s program, Debra Silberstein, chair of the Lawrence General Board of Trustees, and Dianne Anderson, Lawrence General’s president and CEO, each took a moment to recognize and thank the many “heroes” who were involved in the emergency response efforts surrounding the gas fires and explosions that took place in early September.

The evening also included a tribute to cardiologist Sunit Mukherjee, Lawrence General’s recipient of the 2018 Santagati Award for Visionary Leadership, while Congresswoman Niki Tsongas accepted Lawrence General’s Community Leader Award in recognition of her many years of service and upon the occasion of her upcoming retirement.


L-r: Bob Wakefield, CEO of Element Care; Jay Mason of ACS Lowell; and Francey Slater, co-founder of Mill City Grows.

Ribbon Cutting Held for Element Care’s Urban Rooftop Garden

Element Care, Mill City Grows and the Lowell Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to celebrate the opening of the health care nonprofit’s new Urban Rooftop Garden. Located atop its Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) facility at 166 Central Street in Lowell, the garden provides plenty of space for Element Care program participants to grow their own vegetables.

The project, a collaboration between Element Care and Mill City Grows, is in keeping with the latter’s mission to improve “physical health, economic independence and environmental sustainability in Lowell through increased access to land, locally-grown food and education.” The food justice nonprofit has already established seven community garden sites throughout the city including, most recently, a location on Hampshire Street in Centralville.


Lawrence General President and CEO Dianne Anderson to Receive Good Citizenship Award

On Oct. 3, Lawrence General president and CEO Dianne Anderson received the Ralph B. Wilkinson Good Citizenship Award from the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce at the organization’s annual dinner event. Presented annually to community leaders over the past six decades, this award represents the chamber’s highest distinction.

Anderson was selected to receive the Good Citizenship Award for her longstanding commitment to providing high quality, high value health care services to all residents of the Merrimack Valley and her steadfast leadership at Lawrence General Hospital in a time of constant change and challenge in the health care industry. Her contributions to Lawrence General, and consequently to the region, have helped trigger growth and garnered heightened attention for this part of Massachusetts.


Three Things People Need To Know About Applying for Financial Support from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund

by the Essex County Community Foundation

The application process for funding and services from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund for victims of the Sept. 13 Columbia Gas fires opened Wednesday, Oct. 3. Here are the three most important things impacted residents need to know about applying for financial support from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.

1. Funds from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund are available only for residents in the impacted areas that have been without gas service since Sept. 13 and will continue without service for the foreseeable future.

2. Applications to the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund are separate and distinct from your Columbia Gas claim. Even if you have already filed a claim with Columbia Gas, you are STILL ELIGIBLE for support from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.

3. There are three ways to apply for financial support from the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund.

· Online at (This is the fastest and easiest way to apply.)
· By dialing 2-1-1, for those who cannot apply online
· By visiting one of three drop-in centers

Residents will receive an update on the status of their application 3 to 5 business days after applying.

For more information about the Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund, and for additional details about the application process for financial resources, please visit


Merrimack Repertory Theatre Selected for $450,000 Grant

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) was selected to participate in the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative with two grants totaling $450,000 over three years – making it the largest foundation or government grant in the theater’s 40-year history. A partnership between two Boston-based foundations – Barr and The Klarman Family Foundation – the initiative is a $25 million, six-year investment in 29 arts and cultural organizations from across Massachusetts. Participating organizations receive flexible, multi-year operating support grants, in addition to training and technical assistance from TDC, a nonprofit consulting and research firm.

“The Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative is an incredible opportunity to become financially stable, build capacity, and grow our focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion,” said MRT Executive Director Bonnie Butkas. “We are thrilled to work with both foundations to position Merrimack Repertory Theatre for growth and success.”


Canalway Cultural District Named a 2018 Great Neighborhood by the American Planning Association

The American Planning Association (APA) has named the Canalway Cultural District in Lowell as one of five Great Neighborhoods on APA’s annual Great Places in America list, which starts the countdown to National Community Planning Month in October. APA’s Great Places in America program recognizes the streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces in the United States demonstrating exceptional character, quality, and planning — attributes that enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire others around the country. The Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets and Great Public Spaces of 2018 are places that are unique and exemplary in their amenities and infrastructure, cultural identity, and use of sustainable and innovative practices.


Wellforce and Home Health Foundation Finalized Partnership

Wellforce and Home Health Foundation announced that they have joined forces to create one of the largest home health and hospice providers in the region. Home Health Foundation is now a member of Wellforce. Together, the organizations will expand and enhance post-acute care in Eastern Massachusetts with a focus north of Boston into Southern New Hampshire and Maine.

With this agreement, first announced in July and filed with the Health Policy Commission, Home Health Foundation joins Wellforce to partner with current home care members, Circle Home and Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice. Home health services provide a vital link in the continuum of care and delivering care in the home can improve the health of residents, make care more affordable and provide a better quality of life to those with serious and chronic illnesses.


Align Credit Union Offering Financial Assistance to Merrimack Valley Businesses

Align Credit Union is proud to announce they are offering financial assistance to businesses directly affected by the recent gas explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover through the state of Massachusetts’ emergency loan fund. The $1,000,000 fund offers emergency loans to eligible businesses with no payments and no interest for the first six months.

Loans through this fund will have an expedited application and approval process with the goal of having all applications processed within 48 hours. Align contributed $50,000 to the fund, and staff is assisting with the underwriting of the loans and providing translation services for anyone who has questions or needs help applying.

For more information on the fund, find out if you qualify and how to apply, visit



Two from Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Join Area Boards of Directors

Ann Marie Borgesi, GLFHC’s senior vice president, chief administrative and human resources officer, has been named a member of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board. In her new role, Borgesi will utilize over 20 years of experience in human resources management and relationship-building to assist with the board’s goal of maintaining a foundation from which area employers and residents have “the opportunity to achieve sustained economic growth and prosperity.” Borgesi joined the health center as chief human resources officer in 2012. A native of the Merrimack Valley, she was born in Methuen and raised in North Andover. She attended Andover’s Phillips Academy and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Lowell with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. She also holds professional certifications from the Human Resource Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Beth Short, the health center’s associate vice president of marketing and development, was named to the New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP) Board of Directors. In her new role, Short will work with Kelli Rafferty, director of development for Elliot Health System, to plan the organization’s series of SmartLunch Webinars. These webinars will leverage the years of expertise of Short, Rafferty and many other NEAHP members in health care fundraising, donor relations, event planning and more. Short’s relationship with the health center began in 2007, when she joined the development department as a grant writer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and women’s studies from the University of Massachusetts Boston, a master’s degree in regional economics and social/development/public policy from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a graduate certificate in marketing strategy from Cornell University.


Lowell Community Health Center Announces New Positions

Frank Namukangula has joined the Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) staff as director of quality and analytics. In this new role, he is responsible for assuring that the highest quality standards are met and leading quality related performance improvement and analysis for all departments at Lowell CHC. Namukangula previously worked as a Quality and Five-Star Ratings manager for Health New England in Springfield, Mass., and has worked as a quality manager for Beacon Health Options, Tufts Health Plan and Steward Health Care. He resides in Townsend, Mass.
Esther Nganga has been promoted to the position of assistant director of nursing (ADON) for adult medicine at Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC). She previously served as interim program director/RN care manager in in the Lowell CHC HIV/AIDS Department. As an ADON, Nganga will play a key role in ensuring the delivery of safe, culturally appropriate, quality care. A Lowell resident, Nganga is active in the Kenyan community, helping Kenyan immigrants study for certified nursing assistant and LPN exams. Along with her RN degree, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya.
UMass Lowell Chancellor Chancellor Jacquie Moloney has been nominated by MassTLC for CEO of the Year. Since Moloney assumed the role of chancellor in 2015, UMass Lowell has continued to see dramatic increases in student enrollment, student academic success, externally funded research, philanthropic support and facilities modernization. In 2017, UMass Lowell was ranked No. 4 in the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by Boston Globe Magazine and The Commonwealth Institute and Moloney was recognized as one of seven prominent “Women Who Mean Business” by the Boston Business Journal.

Roddrick Guerra, a 2015 Methuen High School graduate, is serving aboard an Avenger mine countermeasure ship designed to clear mines from vital waterways across the globe. As a Navy mineman, Guerra is responsible for watch standing, as well as sweeping and hunting for mines. “I like that the mineman rate is very diverse,” said Guerra. “We have an expanded skill set where we conduct a variety of unique tasks.” Guerra credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons he learned in Methuen.


October 13

Acre Family Child Care invites the public to join its 30th Anniversary Celebration with dinner, dancing, and a few surprises at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center from 6 to 11 p.m. Lowell, Mass. |

Lowell-based nonprofit Mill City Grows will host their 7th Annual Harvest Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lowell’s North Common Park in the Acre neighborhood, the site of Mill City Grows’ North Common Community Garden. Up to 20 local organizations will participate as activity partners during Harvest Festival, providing families with fun, hands-on, educational activities including culturally relevant food and harvest traditions, fresh food preparation, cooking resources, nutrition education, and wellness education. Lowell, Mass. |

The 6th annual Merrimack Valley Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk will be held at the DCR Vandenberg Esplanade. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Lowell, Mass.

The City of Methuen Economic Development Committee will host Methuen Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hampshire Street from High Street to Broadway will be closed off to traffic to allow for sidewalk vendors, entertainment, and other activities for this celebration of our community. Methuen, Mass. |

October 14

The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center is hosting its annual Walk Against Domestic Violence at Waterfront Park in Newburyport. Proceeds from this event allow the center to continue to provide an extensive array of programs and services to 15 local communities. Newburyport, Mass. |

Strongwater Farm will hold a Harvest Hoedown featuring a beer tent, food, hay ride and horse demonstration, as well as the Jimmy Connors Band. All proceeds will benefit the organization’s therapeutic programs providing education, social opportunities and emotional support to those in need in the Merrimack Valley. Tewksbury, Mass. |

The Professional Center for Child Development will hold its 26th Annual Trot for Special Tots 5K Road Race & 1 Mile Family Walk from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Andover, Mass. |

October 18 & 19

Last year, Northern Essex Community College photography student and stage IV breast cancer patient Priscilla Westaway of Salisbury held a fundraiser to raise money for cancer patients and their families. This year she celebrates the official creation of her 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, “Believe Anything and Everything is Possible” with a two-day art gala at the college’s Hartleb Technology Centeron Oct. 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Haverhill, Mass. |

October 20

In their ongoing efforts to promote suicide awareness and show support for those impacted by mental health challenges, the Samaritans of the Merrimack Valley (a program of Family Services of the Merrimack Valley) is hosting their second annual Walk for Hope at 8:30 a.m. North Andover, Mass. |

October 24

MSPCA-Angell‘s annual gala, Raise the Woof, will be held at The Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts. During the event, Jonathan and Wendy Derby will be honored with the Noble Award for Humane Philanthropy. Boston, Mass. |

October 25

Anna Jaques Hospital and Institution for Savings invite the public to Couture for a Cure, a luncheon in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to celebrate survivorship in all shapes and forms and the power of looking good and feeling good. Salisbury, Mass. |

October 26

Methuen Memorial Music Hall will present its Fall Scholarship Fund Organ Recital with Hector Olivera at 8 p.m. Methuen, Mass. |

October 27

The Methuen Sons of Italy will be hosting their 100th Anniversary Gala at Michael’s Function Hall. There will be a cocktail hour, dinner and music provided by Vinyl Groove. Methuen, Mass. |


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