NoteWorthy is your weekly news roundup of happenings, movers and shakers, and community events in the Merrimack Valley.
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AROUND THE VALLEY
Rich Napolitano Honored for Advocacy Work
Rich Napolitano, senior vice president of external relations and chief development officer with Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Methuen, has been honored by National Association of Community Health Centers with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Most Valuable Player Award. The award is named after the late Elizabeth Cooke, whose constant effort and unflagging persistence as an advocate for America’s Health Centers and their patients set an example for advocates to follow.
Napolitano joined GLFHC in January 2014. He oversees communications, public relations, development and fundraising for the center, as well as legislative and community affairs. He has represented Greater Lawrence and its patients in local initiatives such as the City of Lawrence, Mayor’s Health Task Force Executive Committee and the Lawrence Partnership. He has also advocated on behalf of health centers at the state and federal level, and has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management roles, specifically focusing on advancement programs, strategic planning and operations.
Lawrence General Opens Region’s Most Modern Surgery Center
Surgeons, hospital staff and community and business leaders attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 13 to observe and celebrate the historic opening of the Merrimack Valley’s most modern surgical center. The Santagati Center for surgery — named in honor of benefactors Marilyn and Richard Santagati — is five times the size of the current surgical service, which was built in the 1960s. The center boasts seven technology-rich operating rooms, more space and privacy in the pre- and post-surgical patient areas, an advanced and brand new Sterile Processing Department that supplies the operating rooms with equipment and supplies, and a spacious new family waiting area (due to be completed in June).
The new center, along with complete renovation of the hospital’s intensive care unit and other adult inpatient units, provides the resources that allow more patients in Northeastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire to access state of the art medical care, without having to travel into Boston. The 43,000 square foot facility is a $56 million dollar investment, the single largest capital project in the hospital’s 140-year history, and the largest private investment in health care in Lawrence since the hospital opened its new Emergency Center in 2006. The Santagati Center took just shy of two years to complete, from the ground breaking to opening, and came in on-time and on-budget.
Thorndike Exchange Experience Center Opens
The Lupoli Companies celebrated the opening of its Thorndike Exchange Experience Center, located at 17 Shattuck Street in Lowell, on Wednesday with a gathering of local officials, business owners and others. Thorndike Exchange is a mixed-use development located at the former Comfort Furniture building on Thorndike Street, across from South Common in Lowell. A key feature of the development will be its direct connection to the MBTA Commuter Rail through an elevated, covered walkway, along with four planned dining establishments and office space.
The initial 62 market-rate, luxury apartments are expected to be ready for occupancy by the end of 2017, with another 90 or so planned in a new building to be constructed.
The Experience Center offers an immersive inside look at the project with a simulated residential unit created by Boston Interiors, which includes furniture, stunning architectural finishes and more. A promotional video called “The Vibe” was premiered at the event and offers viewers a unique look into what living at Thorndike Exchange will be like.
Brad and Joanne Heim Receive “Make a Difference Award”
The Service Club of Andover recently honored Brad and Joanne Heim with the prestigious “Make a Difference Award” at the 21st Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner & Auction at the Andover Country Club. Brad Heim, a graduate of Penn State University and Joanne Heim, a graduate of Merrimack College, have a long history of service to the community.
There’s a special place in the Heims’ hearts for The Service Club of Andover, as a mutual good friend arranged for them to meet at the Service Club Auction in 1995. They were married two years later. When not devoting their time and energy to their jobs and family, they have been very active in the community.
Lowell Five Announces Humane Society for Greater Nashua as Q1 ECGC Award Recipient
The Lowell Five Employee Charitable Giving Committee has announced that the Lowell Five Charitable Giving Award recipient for the first quarter of 2017 is the Humane Society for Greater Nashua. Lowell Five Bank CEO and President Dave Wallace, and a group of representatives from the Employee Charitable Giving Committee visited the Humane Society for Greater Nashua and presented its President and CEO, Doug Barry, with a check for $7,745. The ECGC also delivered donations of bedding, cleaning products and pet care products collected by the committee and donated by Lowell Five employees.
Each year, Lowell Five’s employees choose four charitable organizations from a list of employee elected nominees to be the recipients of a Quarterly Charitable Giving Award. The proceeds of the award are comprised of voluntary employee donations matched by the bank. The Humane Society for Greater Nashua provides hope, health and homes to over 3,000 animals each year.
Marguerite’s Place Wins $1,500 From Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
As the first quarter of 2017 came to an end, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union closed out the first Give-A-Click campaign of the New Year with Marguerite’s Place as the latest winner. The Nashua-based nonprofit organization received a $1,500 donation from the Credit Union’s We Share A Common Thread Foundation.
Marguerite’s Place provides transitional housing, child care and a wide array of supportive services to help women and their children make their way from homelessness to permanent self-sufficiency. They assist with finances, job-training, education, community involvement, health care and more.
Local Authors Win Prestigious National Book Award
The newest book by Tom and Ellen Zappala, “The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs,” was awarded top honors at the 29th Annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The coffee table book showcases the most desirable signatures in the history of America’s national pastime while detailing the professional and personal story of the men who signed their names on the sweet spot.
Written by Tom and Ellen Zappala of Merrimac, with contributions by Methuen writer John Molori and Professional Sports Authenticator President Joe Orlando, “The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs” features baseball greats from Ruth to Jeter and all those in between. The selections were made by highly regarded autograph experts using criteria including rarity, historical importance and popularity.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Joseph “Jody” White, of Tyngsborough, has been announced as the new chief executive officer of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health, the integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Merrimack Valley and surrounding area. The appointment was unanimously approved by the Circle Health board of directors. White joined Lowell General Hospital in 2003 and served for 10 years as executive vice president and COO before becoming president in 2013.
Karen Holmes, West Newbury resident and owner of Holmes Physical Therapy, LLC, was the named Dance Champion of the Third Annual Stepping Out with the Valley Stars event. The event, held at the Blue Ocean Music Hall, is an annual fundraiser for Emmaus Inc., a Haverhill nonprofit that provides housing and services to homeless adults and families. More than 350 people attended the competition and more than $60,000 was raised to support various programs of the agency.
Nancy Cook was honored at the Roudenbush Community Center’s 3rd annual Person of the Year Event. Cook received the titular award due to her involvement with many nonprofit organizations in the Merrimack Valley, having given much of her time, talent, and expertise to those who need it most.