Dr. David Weed named 2016 Southcoast Health – Hero for Health Award recipient

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health today announced that Dr. David Weed, Executive Director of Partners for a Healthier Community, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Southcoast Health – Hero for Health Award. The Southcoast Health – Hero for Health Award is presented annually to an outstanding leader who exemplifies the mission of Southcoast Health by steadfastly fighting for and promoting the optimal health and wellness in our region, state and/or country. The award was presented to Weed on Friday, April 28.

“Southcoast Health is thankful for Dr. Weed’s passion and expertise. He is a dedicated member of our Community Benefits Committee, a Community Benefits Grant reader and a valuable resource and partner in our efforts to improve the health of our region,” said Keith Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Health.

Past recipients of the Southcoast Health – Hero for Health Award include former Congressman Barney Frank (2012), State Representative Patricia Haddad (2013), Bob Unger (2014), former editor and associate publisher at SouthCoast Media Group, and Congressman William Keating (2015).

“This award reflects the remarkable organization that I work for,” said David Weed, Executive Director of Partners for a Healthier Community. “We have made amazing progress in addressing the health needs of the Greater Fall River community.”

Under Dr. Weed’s direction, Partners for a Healthier Community was recognized as one of six national Culture of Health Prize winners by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Partners serves as the regional Community Health Improvement Network (CHNA) for Greater Fall River and coordinates activities with its many community and regional partners including Voices for a Healthy South Coast, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and the Harvard Catalyst Population Health Research Program Advisory Board.

As founder of the Healthy City Fall River initiative in 2003, Dr. Weed worked with city government, health and social services agencies and the public to assess and improve population health. The result was a blueprint that has been recognized regionally and nationally as a best practice in community health improvement at the grassroots level.

Partners and Healthy City Fall River have had a lasting impact on greater health outcomes over the last decade. They have worked to improve maternal, child and adolescent health; reduced rates of youth violence; fought for improved nutrition; promoted the importance of physical activity; and focused on addressing significant health disparities.

As a practicing psychologist, Dr. Weed has had a considerable impact on the behavioral health system in our region. Before retiring in 2007, he was a long-time staff member at Mass. Department of Mental Health, Corrigan Mental Health Center in Fall River, serving in various capacities including Director of Community Clinical Services. In that role, Dr. Weed was Chief Psychologist for programs serving adults with major mental illness.

He has presented on his work throughout the United States including at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey; the Society for Community Research and Action in Lowell, Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico; the Massachusetts Municipal Association and the American Public Health Association in Boston, where he discussed, ‘Building Healthy Communities: Making improvements in social and economic factors leads to improved health in low-income communities.”

Dr. Weed has been recognized with a number of honors including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Community Leadership Award and the Fall River Chamber of Commerce John S. Brayton Community Recognition Award.