LYNN — William Mantzoukas, a longtime supporter for accessible health services, was presented the John S. Moran Award for Community Service at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lynn Community Health Center Thursday morning.
The John S. Moran Award was established 25 years ago by the Board of Directors in memory of the late executive editor at the Daily Evening Item and health center board member. Moran was 52 when he died in 1990 from a heart attack.
Moran was an advocate for the center and its mission: to provide comprehensive health care of the highest quality to everyone in the community, regardless of ability to pay.
“(Moran) contributed a great amount of time and expertise to support the health center and the community,” said Lori Abrams Berry, CEO at the health center.
Selected to receive the award by the board of directors, Mantzoukas was the first executive director of what was then called the Lynn Healthing Center in 1971, in an office of five employees and only four desks, said Berry.
“(Mantzoukas) has been present here for every major move since the health center was made,” she said, including the transition to the Goldfish pond area, and then the switch to the location at 269 Union St. in 1993.
“Bill never hesitated. He stepped right in, came and joined the board, and boy were they glad you arrived,” she said. “Bill stayed for 37 years on our board and only rotated off after term limits came in 2015.”
Still, he remains on the Strategic Planning Committee.
Mantzoukas said during the presentation of the award that Moran was not only a great journalist, but an incredible leader in his community.
“When John was on the board, his focus was always on doing the right thing for the health center,” he said. “It wasn’t doing the right thing for The Item, or his professional friend, or his group of friends. He was focused on what was best for the health center.”
It was what Moran strived for throughout his career, Mantzoukas said.
The ceremony included awards, legislative citations presented by a representative from U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s office and state Sen. Thomas McGee, and tours of the newly renovated second floor.
The celebration and unveiling of the renovated second floor comes during National Health Center Week 2017, surrounding the theme “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: The Key to Healthier Communities.”
The renovated second floor will continue to expand, innovate, and move forward, said Berry.
Kiame Mahaniah, MD., chief medical officer, said the space, including more than 25 rooms, serves as a testament to the great things going on today, even at a time where the news is clouded with horrible things occurring across the nation.
“It’s amazing to be able to come and see our expansion,” he said. “It’s an antidote to all those things that we hear on the news and we don’t quite realize but it’s a daily antidote that we have that means good things are happening and happening all the time.”