I am asking for your consideration as a candidate for the Board of Health. I previously served on the Board and thus am well aware of how it functions.
The board has experienced considerable unrest this year and is currently welcoming a new Health agent, David Flaherty. The presence of someone on the Board already familiar with its processes would help the Board get up to speed more rapidly. There are many concerns at this time with the Covid being the most important…Facilitating access to vaccinations for all citizens and managing compliance with regulations to keep us all safe are central.
Also important is providing information and education to our citizens of resources to help them cope with the many stressors that the Covid virus has brought on. These are in addition to the regulation of farms, businesses sewage, animals ,etc. that the Board deals with daily.
I feel it is essential to have a health care professional on the board during the Pandemic to facilitate response planning, outreach and consideration of the social determinants of health that are being impacted, as well as providing understanding of the emotional stressors affecting us. I have a near 50 year career as a health care professional having worked with both my masters and doctorate in psychology. I have had a practice in town for 40 years where I work with all ages. My work also included running clinics. serving as a longtime professor, and conducting research in varied settings.
These experiences gave me relevant skills for the Board.
Currently I chair Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, a coalition of 738 members made up of health, human service, government workers, and community members who work together to improve the health and welfare of the nine surrounding communities including Fairhaven. A focus of the Coalition has been to get daily updates about Covid team meetings and resources to its members. Rapid provision of information allows workers and community members timely access to resources. It also provides me with broad affiliations and knowledge of health issues and resources to bring to our Board.
As someone who grew up in Fairhaven, I feel I have a sense of people’s hopes and concerns. I have been active in town committees and organizations. As the Chair of the Homecoming Committee I know we all look forward to the time when we can come together and celebrate. I want to work to get us there.
As a Board member, I would keep you informed, enforce regulations to keep you safe, and provide a respectful hearing to all people and businesses that come before the Board.
I will work diligently for you and respectfully ask for your vote on April 5.
My name is Kevin Gallagher and I am a candidate for the vacant seat on the Fairhaven Board of Health. I would like to thank Beth David and the Fairhaven Neighborhood News for this opportunity to introduce myself to the community.
I am a 25 year resident of Fairhaven and, along with my wife Cindy, have teenage twins (Jake and Sydney) as well as an adult son (Eric Reilly) who is a new father and Fairhaven homeowner. I serve on the Fairhaven Finance committee and I am a first time candidate for local office.
For the past 35 years, I have been employed by the Town of Acushnet; first as a call firefighter, next as a fulltime firefighter/paramedic and, for the last 17 years, as Fire Chief. Throughout the years, I have worked with numerous local, state and national government entities and officials. I have served on various boards and committees, from writing the state Building Code to presiding over the regional EMS Council.
I wouldn’t be running for the Board of Health if I didn’t firmly believe that my experience and training wouldn’t be of value to the residents of my community, particularly during this crucial time. The Covid 19 pandemic has upended all of our lives. We have all been forced to make significant changes, to make sacrifices and to individually, and collectively, step up so together we can step out of this crisis.
I have played a major role in Acushnet’s response to the pandemic. I have worked closely with health officials, other public safety departments, as well as town administration to craft a local level response. Out of necessity we fought, unsuccessfully in this instance, to bring state sponsored testing to the suburbs of New Bedford. From that defeat we fought back by doing it on our own. Since September 2020, I have been involved in the weekly testing of teachers and town employees and, on 16 separate occasions, conducted community wide testing clinics. We are closing in on 10,000 tests administered in just five months.
I have learned several lessons from this nearly daily involvement in local government’s response to the pandemic. This crisis is terribly real. Its impact on the lives of our families, friends and neighbors has been unlike any other emergency in our lifetimes. Its impacts will be felt for years to come. While the federal government provides funding and the state government provides guidance, the local level needs to provide the leadership and focus. Residents expect local leaders to be engaged, to enforce the rules fairly, equitably and without outside influence. In my career I have learned that in order for leaders to lead there must be trust. Unfortunately, trust in elected officials has been broken at every level of government at a time when it is needed the most, in this time of crisis.
No candidate should claim to have all the answers. I don’t. My simple pledge to the voters of Fairhaven is that I will bring the lessons of leadership, the laser like focus that these times demand, and the willingness to go the extra mile to rebuild the trust lost in the Fairhaven Board of Health.
I ask for your vote on April 5th.
Support local journalism, donate to the Neighb News with PayPal.
Click here to download the entire 3/11/21 issue: 03-11-21 AcushCOVIDTrailer_REV