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For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2013

Southcoast Health System Trustees announce 2012 winners of prestigious Medal for Outstanding Service

Southcoast Trustees Medal for Outstanding Service

Pictured from left to right: Barbara H. Mulville, CFRE; Dr. Ellen Berelson, trustee of the Theodore H. Barth Foundation; the Honorable Elizabeth O'Nell LaStaiti; Gilbert Shapiro, MD; Elizabeth H. Kunz, Esq., Chair of the Board of Trustees for Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group, and Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group.

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The Boards of Trustees for Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group recently presented the Honorable Elizabeth O'Neill LaStaiti, Dr. Gilbert Shapiro, the Theodore H. Barth Foundation, and Barbara H. Mulville, CFRE, with its prestigious Southcoast Trustees' Medal for Outstanding Service at its combined annual meetings of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group.

"The Boards of Trustees for the Health System and the Hospitals Group are privileged to work with some of the most talented, dedicated, community-minded and generous people you will find anywhere," said Elizabeth Kunz, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group. "The Southcoast Trustees' Medal for Outstanding Service recognizes the very best of those individuals for a lifetime of selfless giving and commitment to the health care of our communities."

The Southcoast Trustees' Medal is presented to individuals who have shown exemplary service, selfless giving and commitment to the goals and mission of the health system and hospitals. It is considered the very highest honor the Southcoast Boards can bestow.

The 2012 recipients include:

The Honorable Elizabeth O'Neill LaStaiti

Judge LaStaiti's distinguished career began in 1968, when she became the first woman to graduate "First in the Class" from Boston College Law School in Boston. After completing the bar, she went on to work in private practice for numerous years in New Bedford, during which time she also served as Assistant Town Counsel for Dartmouth. Judge LaStaiti began her service to the community participating in the Bar Advocate Program, representing low-income defendants. In 1988, she was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Bristol Division. In 1994, she was appointed First Justice of the Bristol Probate and Family Court. Judge LaStaiti has recently retired after 18 years of service in this appointment.

During the 1980's Judge LaStaiti served as Chair of the St. Luke's Hospital Board of Trustees and has continued to serve Southcoast Health System in many roles after the Southcoast merger. Most recently she has served as Trustee of Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group, as well as on numerous committees, including Board Quality and Community Benefits.

Gilbert Shapiro, MD

Dr. Shapiro joined Southcoast as an orthopedic surgeon for St. Luke's in 1963. Almost 50 years later, he continues to run and maintain a well-respected practice in New Bedford. Dr. Shapiro has served numerous times as a trustee and on various committees for Southcoast Health System. His service includes President of the Medical Staff at St. Luke's, and Chair of the Southcoast Health System Board of Trustees.

Additionally, Dr. Shapiro has been dedicated to the philanthropic support of St. Luke's and Southcoast. He has served on the Southcoast Center for Cancer Care Capital Campaign Cabinet, as well as on the Development Committee, assisting with many capital and fundraising campaigns. Dr. Shapiro was also co-chair of the campaign to renovate the St. Luke's Hospital Emergency Department. Together with his wife, Frima Shapiro, they contributed the "Shapiro Healing Garden". As an extension of Southcoast's "art and art of healing" project, many have found the garden to be a welcome place of peace located just steps away from St. Luke's busy Emergency Department.

The Theodore H. Barth Foundation

The Theodore H. Barth Foundation was established to support the charitable efforts of the late Theodore Barth. Theodore Barth made his fortune while working as an engineer for the federal government during World War II. He and a partner invented the "bomber sights" which were installed on U.S. bombers. In his lifetime he was recognized as a great philanthropist, and donated to many charities. His most notable work was in support of Tobey Hospital, where he gave over $500,000 in gifts, served as a trustee and as chairman of the board.

His support of the hospital has continued to live on through the Theodore H. Barth Foundation. At present, Tobey Hospital has received $2.1 million in grants donated by the Theodore H. Barth Foundation. These donations have made numerous renovations and updates possible at Tobey Hospital.

The Theodore H. Barth Foundation award was received by one of the trustees, Dr. Ellen Berelson, whose father, Irving P. Berelson, was Theodore Barth's lawyer and served as Vice President of the Theodore H. Barth Foundation until his passing in 1999.

Barbara H. Mulville, CFRE

The Trustees Medal for Outstanding Service was an idea initiated by Barbara H. Mulville, CFRE, as a way to honor and celebrate those who give selflessly of themselves to benefit their community and the initiative of Southcoast Health System. Upon her recent retirement, Southcoast seized the opportunity to pay tribute to her dedicated efforts while at Southcoast and her tireless advocacy for community support, by awarding her with the same honor that she had given to others.

As Senior Vice President of External Affairs at Southcoast Health System, Barbara Mulville consistently advocated for the betterment of Southcoast and the surrounding communities. Over the last decade her hard work transformed the philanthropic landscape in the region, ensuring that Southcoast's not-for-profit mission is both valued and supported by the community. In addition to her many contributions, Barbara Mulville worked hard to develop a system wide program that would share the healing powers of art with patients, staff and visitors. This program places donated art from local artists in Southcoast's public spaces for all to enjoy.

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Stephanie Poyant
Public Information Officer
Phone: 508-961-5280
Pager: 508-387-2532
Fax: 508-961-5876

Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island.

It includes the three hospitals that make up Southcoast Hospitals Group — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.

Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty and heart rhythm services, comprehensive cancer care, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedic surgery, advanced imaging services and is the only provider of maternity services in the region.

Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of the community to provide services. More information is available online at Connect to Southcoast through social media at

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