Dr. Catherine Latham, superintendent of Lynn Public Schools, is awarded the John S. Moran Award for Community Service by Lori Abrams Berry, executive director of Lynn Community Health Center. Photo by Paula Muller.
By Bridget Turcotte
NAHANT — Dr. Catherine Latham received the 2016 John S. Moran Award for Community Service at the Lynn Community Health Center’s annual meeting on Wednesday.
The award is named after the former executive editor of The Item. Among many things, Moran was a member of Lynn Community Health Center’s Board of Directors. He contributed a lot of time and expertise to support the center and the community.
After he died in February of 1990, the board created the award in his memory and honors a worthy recipient each year.
To be eligible, a person should have strong ties to the city and advocate for a healthier Lynn community and health center. They should be someone who has shown leadership and made a difference for the community.
Latham, the superintendent of Lynn Public Schools, was chosen as this year’s honoree because of her work with providing children with proper healthcare.
There are 13 schools in the city with school-based health centers for student use, said Lori Abrams Berry, executive director of the LCHC.
“No one has made the commitment to providing health and mental health service more than Cathy Latham has,” Berry said. “She has been an enormous source of support for this program.”
Latham is a lifelong Lynn resident. She graduated from Lynn English High School, where she later taught math. Though gracious about receiving the award, she attributed the success of the program to the room full of health center employees.
“I do very little,” she said. “It’s you people, the Lynn Community Health Center and the wonderful folks who work there. I can want the world for our students, but without people like you, I couldn’t do it.”
The Lynn Community Health Center is a nonprofit that offers care to the community, regardless of ability to pay. It targets children and families, low-income, minorities, non-English speaking patients, teens and elderly.
More than 90 percent of the center’s patients live below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. More than 50 percent are best served in a language other than English, according to their website.
The health center recognized its long-standing employees individually.
Bob Dempkowski received the Andrea Gaulzetti Award for Excellence in Public Health, named after the health center’s chief of clinical operations who died in 2015.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.