The Community Voices for Health bloggers represent area agencies and organizations dedicated to improving the health of people living in our region of Massachusetts. They volunteer their time to contribute posts to this blog. below you will find some more detailed information about each of these incredible individuals.
Meet the Community Voices for Health bloggers:
Meaghan Avery – Meaghan is the Healthy Living Program Director for the Old Colony YMCA Association. She has been with the YMCA for about 8 years. She originally started her journey wanting to be a nurse in a hospital setting but once training in that setting she realized that she wanted to be in a role that was helping people avoid hospital visits. She found her way into studying Community Health and Wellness and has fully immersed herself in that world ever since. She enjoys learning new things and keeping up with the constant and ever-changing health promotion and overall wellness field. We are living in a time where wellness is seen as both mind and body and she loves exploring ways to achieve full-body wellness. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outside, lifting weights, traveling with friends, cooking, enjoying good foods, and appreciating all life has to offer!
Sarah Gonet – Sarah joined BAMSI in 2022 bringing over 20 years of fundraising and nonprofit communications experience. Prior to BAMSI, Sarah was with Southcoast Health, a community-based not-for-profit health system located in Southeastern Massachusetts, for over a decade and oversaw major, corporate, and foundation, annual fund, planned, and special event giving. Prior to that, as the United Way of Greater New Bedford’s Vice President of Development, Sarah worked closely with the president and board to direct the annual fundraising campaign, as well as train and supervise a team of 10+ volunteer leaders who supported front-line fundraising efforts. Sarah enjoys the collaborative nature of development work and sees philanthropy as a means to bring about transformational change in the community.
She holds a BA in Healthcare Administration and Psychology from Stonehill College; a Certificate in Grant Writing from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; and a Certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University. She serves as a Corporator for Bank5 and is a graduate of Leadership Southcoast.
Nicole M. Long, LICSW – Nicole is the Chief Executive Officer for Old Colony Elder Services (OCES). She began her career at OCES in 2005. She holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Bridgewater State University and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). She serves as a Commissioner on the Board of Directors for the Plymouth Housing Authority, is a member of the Plymouth Selectboards Senior Task Force, Plymouth Networking Group (PNG), and is an Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapist at Wildhearts Therapeutic Equestrian Program in West Bridgewater. Nicole is a 2019 recipient of the Cape & Plymouth Business’ 40 Under 40 Awards. In her role as CEO, Long’s primary focus is to maintain and grow both community and funding relationships. During her time as CEO, the agency has experienced growth and program expansion. Under Nicole’s leadership, most recently, OCES received the “Covid-19 Hero Award” in 2022 from the Community Services of Greater Brockton and OCES’ Housing Programs expanded to cover four new housing sites which now span across greater Plymouth County.
Robert Ford, PT, MBA – Robert is the President and CEO of the Brockton Visiting Nurse and Hospice Association. Their mission is to provide compassionate, high-quality care to our patients and their families. Their focus is on providing care in the community for people that need health care that they cannot access otherwise.
Robert has been a clinician and Home Health executive for over 25 years. His background as a Home Health Physical Therapist has guided his career as a Home Health leader in understanding the needs of our patients as well as understanding what it is they can do as a Home Health Agency. His goal with this opportunity is to engage with the Greater Brockton Community to provide information and guidance on how the post-acute continuum is able to be of service to our community.
Marsha Weiner, LICSW – She has been a social worker for 38 years. It has been quite a journey as she has worked in schools, early intervention, and outpatient mental health, as well as with pregnant and parenting teens. Martha has been at Signature Healthcare for 20 years. She started as a full-time therapist and continues to have a very small panel of clients. She currently is part of the Medical Home team and is the Manager of Behavioral Health Services at Signature Healthcare which covers all the Primary Care Providers and Specialists in the Ambulatory sites.
It has been her passion since she was a little girl to help others and she has found herself following that passion through undergrad, grad school and her career. She would like to use this platform to try to destigmatize mental health and allow for the acceptance of those that have to spend every day trying to navigate so many obstacles in the way.
Dennis P. Carman – Dennis has been serving as the President & CEO of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County since March 2006. Before being recruited to United Way, Mr. Carman served for twelve years as the Executive Director of the MainSpring Coalition for the Homeless based in Brockton providing emergency shelter and transitional services for homeless families and single adults. Prior to his work at MainSpring, Dennis served for five years in various positions in the field of substance abuse treatment services.
Dennis was awarded a full fellowship to the Ohio State University where he earned both a master’s degree in Social Work and a master’s degree of Arts in Public Administration graduating in 1984. Dennis earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Arts graduating in 1982 from Stonehill College.
Tanvi Maharaja, PT, DPT, OCS – Tanvi is a mom to a teenager and to a fur baby, working as a Pelvic/Orthopedic Specialist Physical Therapist at Signature Healthcare in Brockton, MA. She enjoys hiking, swimming, long walks with my family, and fireside chats with her husband and son. Reading, writing, and yoga are her creative and spiritual outlets. She values work-life balance and is a proponent of mindfulness and wellness practices for holistic care. She is a passionate advocate for pelvic health for both men and women and works with adults and children alike to provide care in a safe space. Her goal is to increase awareness of pelvic health in the community so that medical issues are picked up early, diagnosed timely, and quality care is available to everyone.
Natalie Laubach, RD, CDE – Natalie is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She works in the Department of Endocrinology at Signature Healthcare. She loves to share her knowledge of healthy eating, healthy cooking, and making healthy taste good. Natalie has experience working with people who have chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease as well as obesity, and promoting sustainable behavior change. One of her passions is trying new recipes and finding ways to make baked goods nutritious AND delicious! She is excited to be a part of the Community Voices for Health Blog and to share these passions with you. Among other things, you can expect her to share information on healthy aging, shopping for healthy food, and how to make healthy meals taste great.
Sara Kubetin, RD – more to come
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Tina Cardosa – Tina is a registered nurse of 25 years, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston class of 1998, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The bulk of her career has been in primary care at the Boston Medical Center where she has worked with large immigrant populations and marginalized groups.
In 2016, Tina founded Cape Verdean Women United, a nonprofit organization that unites, educates, and empowers youth and families of all cultures by inspiring healthier, more viable communities. Its programs are geared towards mental health awareness and violence prevention education, especially domestic violence in our community. They have also realized their mission abroad through their oral health initiatives in Cabo Verde.
Tina was the first Cape Verdean female to run and win a seat on the Brockton City council where she served one term and in 2021 she became the first female Cape Verdean to run for Mayor of Brockton. She enjoys traveling, long walks in the park, a good series on Netflix, and having dinner and great conversations with friends.
Gabby Boynton – Gabby is the Director of Communications and Community Relations for BAMSI, a Brockton-based non-profit organization. Having developed business brands and marketing strategies for over ten years, she brings a unique perspective to the non-profit sector. As a leader and supporter of many communication projects and events, she shows her passion for helping others. Also, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Gisela Morton – Gisela is an immigrant from the Cape Verdean Islands. She immigrated to the USA at the age of 17 years old. She has a master’s degree in Human Services and a minor in Organizational, Management, and Leadership. Gisela is a wife and mother of three wonderful children. She works as a Senior Special Programs Coordinator for the Returning Citizens Program at Massasoit Community College and as a Community Support/Advocate for Cape Verdean Women United (CVWU). She also serves as a volunteer for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the local school system.
Her extensive background in consulting, volunteer, and management roles spans from the oversight of operations, programs, and support systems for vulnerable and at-risk populations. Gisela has a talent for helping people find hope under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. She has experience in community grassroots, state agencies, non-profit/profit companies, and education, and work closely with communities, organizations, law enforcement, the court system, schools, and hospitals to support vulnerable families.
Emily Ann Richmond – Emily Ann is a member of the marketing team at BAMSI. She has over 20 years of marketing design experience. Emily started out in print advertising and moved into digital and video production. She especially enjoys working for non-profits generating fundraising, recruiting, and promotional graphic design and videos with a special emphasis on storytelling. In her spare time, Emily Ann enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and generally anything active and outdoors!