Nonprofit Insider

Mary Vallier-Kaplan Recognized for Lifetime Achievement

Concord - Public health pioneer, Mary Vallier-Kaplan, has been awarded the Roger Fossum Award for Lifetime Achievement in Public Health. Kaplan, a Peterborough resident and interim president at the Endowment for Health, brings a passion and commitment to public health that has been evident for the entire span of her career.

Kaplan has more than 25 years of professional experience in public and community health issues in New Hampshire. She introduced New Hampshire to its first community-based hospice as one of the founders of the Community Hospice of Greater Nashua and later was instrumental in the creation of it's residential hospice house. Kaplan has also been a key leader dedicated to building a comprehensive public health infrastructure in the state, with a focus on the health of populations and communities and an emphasis on prevention. She also worked for many years in Nashua helping to create its first community needs assessment, "Nashua Measures Up", in conjunction with the United Way.

Additionally, in her decade of leadership at the Endowment for Health, the state's largest health foundation, Kaplan has been a stanch proponent for the collection of regional health data and community dialogue about health issues.

Kaplan started her career as a public health nurse where she walked the streets of Roxbury Massachusetts, providing health education to vulnerable populations. She also served as a school nurse and a provider at Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center, one of Boston's first community health centers.

Kaplan graduated from the University of Michigan's School of Public Health during a pivotal time when public health began teaming with the private health-care system and government and to meet the total health needs of populations.

After graduation with honors, Kaplan worked as the executive director of a community health center in Detroit, and later in developing the first community-based HMOs in Massachusetts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

"Mary has been instrumental in the field of public health," said Michael Devlin of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. "She knows the importance of getting community perspectives before taking action and she has been a force for public health. New Hampshire is a healthier state because of her," he said.

The Roger Fossum Award is given in memory of the state's first chief medical examiner and is bestowed upon noteworthy individuals by the NH Public Health Association.

Posted on: September 12, 2012
Topics: Expansion

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