HCN News & Notes

Public Health Institute Welcomes New Staff Member, Board Members

SPRINGFIELD — The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts (PHIWM) recently welcomed Jacqueline Velez as a community project coordinator for LiveWell Springfield, focusing on the Transforming Communities Initiative. She joins the PHIWM staff with 13 years of experience working in advocacy, organizing, and communications. She is also the chair of the Hampden County Commission on the Status of Women & Girls.

PHIWM also welcomed two new board members. Johnetta Baymon is the co-pastor of Deliverance Center Ministries. She ministers to the spiritual and physical needs of people throughout the city of Springfield and its surrounding areas, and has founded and coordinated several organizations, such as Deliverance Center Ministries, Royal Heritage Women’s Institute, Faith Based Health Alliance, Springfield Food Policy Obesity Conference, and Heart to Heart Women’s Fellowship.

Linda Thompson is the president of Westfield State University. Before that, she served as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston. In Baltimore City, she was the director of Occupational Medicine and Safety and developed programs and policies to promote the health of the city workforce, including the implementation of policies for HIV prevention and substance abuse. At the state level, she served as Maryland’s special secretary of Children, Youth, and Families, and developed programs and policies to improve quality of care for vulnerable populations of children.