The South Boston Community Health Center is an institution around here – that goes without saying (even though we said it). The Community Health Center’s concept of servicing health needs in an urban neighborhood has caught on. In fact, the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center in Dorchester and our own at 409 West Broadway were the first two such health organizations.
Each August, the South Boston Community Health Center confers a set of awards upon those people, both inside and outside of the Health Center’s organization, who have supported the South Boston community in special ways. They are called the “Breakfast of Champions” Awards, a humorous and memorable brainchild of the Health Center’s Margaret Lynch. And of course, ‘the title “Breakfast of Champions” is based upon the well-known slogan for Wheaties, the American breakfast cereal.
This year of 2016, the “Breakfast of Champions” Awards were conferred at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, August 10, in the Health Center’s back lot facing Gold Street. Health Center CEO Bill Halpin capably fulfilled the duties of Emcee for this event. He opened the occasion by stating that their National Association strongly encourages such efforts to reach out to their communities. Around 100 people were on hand; breakfast was served (of course).
Despite the tongue-in-cheek “Breakfast of Champions” title, these awards are serious and well-meant. They concretely recognize key people in the South Boston community, and the contributions those people make to our well-being. The first two awards were given jointly to members of South Boston’s Station C-6, specifically in the persons of Capt. Joseph Boyle and BPD Officer Robert Lucas. In speaking for both himself and Officer Lucas, Capt. Boyle said, “These days the police endure a lot”, but quickly went to thank South Boston for making the police feel welcome, and to state how grateful he was for the awards. The Captain pointed out that Officer Lucas has for 20 years been just what a Police Officer should be – “Thank you, Bobby,” Boyle simply said.
Two deserving members of the Health Center’s organization then received their awards: Chief Medical Officer Nisha Thakrir, M.D., and Ann Brady, Board Chair of the Health Center. Dr. Thakrir is completing her 12th year as Chief Medical Officer. One can only repeat what everyone already knows – her contribution has been “immense”, both to the Health Center’s staff and to the community. Ann Brady has likewise been a long-term member of the organization. She was especially eloquent in her award acceptance speech, when she spoke of how devoted she was to the South Boston Community Health Center.
Emcee and CEO Bill Halpin closed the 2016 “Breakfast of Champions” by stating how proud he himself was of the Health Center’s staff, saying, “They are my second family.” He then wished everyone a Happy National Health Center Week (which it was).