Sierra Leone Native Honored by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino

Frederica Williams, President & CEO of Whittier Street Health Center, Honored At Second Annual Mayoral Prize For Innovations in Primary Care

BOSTON, MA – (November 3, 2011) Whittier Street Health Center (WSHC) was among four organizations who were recognized by the Mayor and the City of Boston at the Second Annual Mayoral Prize for Innovations in Primary Care.  WSHC, located in Roxbury, MA, was selected for its Vibrant Communities program, a partnership with the Boston Housing Authority in which health coordinators connect public housing residents with medical care and community services.

Photo: (L-R) Rachel Goodman, Director of Community Serivce, Boston Housing Authority; Brent Henry, Social Coordinator, Whittier Street Health Center; Frederica Williams, President & CEO, Whittier Street Health Center; Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston; Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Executive Director, Boston Public Health Commission

“I am enormously proud of these institutions for the ground-breaking work they are undertaking to improve primary care and reduce the burden on our health care system,” said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.  “Their innovative and creative thinking is exactly what’s required to transform the primary care system and to make it more effective, efficient, and patient-focused. Boston is richer for the contributions they are making.”

Frederica M. Williams, a native of Sierra Leone, is president and chief executive officer of Whittier Street Health Center, a leader in urban health care with a focus on culturally competent care and services. With Williams at the helm, Whittier is committed to providing quality health care to patients across diverse populations. Over the past nine years, the number of people served by Whittier has increased from 5,000 to 18,500, with a vision to serve 24,000 by 2015. Even with the increase in patients, Williams has brought sound financial stewardship to Whittier through improvements in operations and funding diversification. She is one of Boston’s most dynamic leaders in the field of innovative community-based health care, and was named “Outstanding Massachusetts Health Center Executive Director” in 2009 by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. She has also received numerous awards including the Boston Business Journal’s Champions in Health Care Award, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Award and the Network Journal of New York named her one of 25 Influential Black Women in Business in 2011.

About Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier Street Health Center (www.wshc.org) is a Joint Commission accredited, private, non-profit, independently licensed community health center dedicated to providing high quality, reliable and accessible primary health care and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. Serving more than 18,500 clients with approximately 70,000 clinic visits and 20,000 community outreach visits annually, Whittier has a patient base which is ethnically and racially diverse and includes significant numbers of individuals from Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and Greater Boston.  Whittier provides a comprehensive array of 30 healthcare programs and services designed to meet the primary health care, behavioral health, and social needs of the community.

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