Kathy A. Reddick, Administrative Coordinator for the Family Practice Department at Cambridge Health Alliance (the Alliance), was recently named one of two recipients of the 2002 MIT President's Award for Community Service. Also named was Michael W. Foley, Associate Director of Operations for MIT's Campus Activities Complex.
Reddick was honored for her commitment to community service and for her significant contributions to providing educational opportunities and access to Cambridge youth. She is President of the Cambridge Chapter of the NAACP, and was a founding board member of the Benjamin Banneker Charter School in Cambridge, the city's only charter school. She also serves as a Board member for the BELL Foundation, an after-school program she helped start for inner city kids.
"Reddick's outstanding community work underscores her belief that public organizations, like Cambridge Public Schools, and public health organizations like Cambridge Health Alliance, can be the best in the country, and we are proud that she uses Alliance providers for her family’s health needs," said Dennis Keefe, Acting CEO of the Alliance.
The awards, which come with a $1,000 donation the award winners may apply to the cause of their choice, were presented recently at a special ceremony at Gray House, the MIT President's private residence, before an audience of distinguished MIT faculty and administration, local community activists, state and local political leaders, family members, friends and former awardees.
MIT President Charles M. Vest, in his welcoming remarks, hailed Reddick and Foley for inspiring an entire community through their work and deep commitment.
In presenting Reddick with her award proclamation, Vest commented: "You have worked courageously to enhance the educational opportunities of Cambridge youth. Your advocacy and leadership for kids at-risk is helping them have access the benefits of an enriched education. You have been an outspoken voice on Civil Rights issues. As President of the Cambridge Chapter of the NAACP, you have brought innovative programs and partnerships to our community and raised our awareness of the impact of AIDS on the black community. You have spoken boldly on issues and reminded us that we must continue to protect the rights of all our citizens."
In addressing the two individuals being honored, Cambridge Mayor Michael A. Sullivan said: "I am here to express an entire city's gratitude and pride in your spirit of service." Sullivan who attended grammar school in Cambridge with Reddick, said: "Kathy is a strong voice on a variety of issues, and it is always a voice from the heart. Thank you for helping improve our community and the quality of life of our residents. You are helping us reflect carefully on how to improve the quality of life for all Cambridge residents and are helping us reach our goal of creating a thriving community."
Also present to offer her congratulations was the Honorable Dianne Wilkerson, of the Massachusetts State Senate. "I come here tonight out of respect for Kathy and her work. Given the challenges that face us today, it has never been more important to find quality people who are willing to volunteer their time and talents."
State Representative Alice K. Wolf, who represents the City of Cambridge, presented Reddick with a special citation from the House of Representatives. “Tonight, I represent all 160 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, each of whom represents 40,000 constituents. I am here to congratulate one exceptional person in Kathy for her service to our city and to let you know we are working together to do our very best, under very difficult circumstances, to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are served.”
At the Alliance, Reddick is the Administrative Coordinator for the Department of Family Practice, which provides comprehensive primary care for patients of all ages, diagnoses and cultural backgrounds.
"The department is unique in its ability to provide care for multiple generations of family members," said Maurice Martin, MD, Chief of Family Practice at the Alliance. Family Health encompasses a number of family practitioners that are available at the Riverside Health Center in Cambridge and at the Mystic Health Center, Union Square and East Somerville Family Health centers in Somerville.
Reddick also serves as the Coordinator for the Somerville Hospital CME Program, which provides continuing medical education for Somerville Hospital physicians on a monthly basis, and coordinates conferences for the Alliance's Department of Surgery. Although Kathy's employment with the Alliance dates to 1981, her association with the Alliance has even deeper roots - all 5 of Kathy's children were born at The Cambridge Hospital, including a set of triplets born in November 1982.
In praising Reddick for her contributions to the community at the awards ceremony, Cambridge City Councillor E. Denise Simmons provided some reflections on the value of volunteering: "Volunteers extend themselves beyond the ordinary. Kathy Reddick is an exceptional person and volunteer who is also a mother raising 5 kids. She gets them up and ready to go to school, puts in a full day at a demanding job, then goes on to work for the NAACP in her quest to protect the rights of all of us. Kathy, thank you for being a very special person, doing very special deeds, and for going above and beyond the call of duty. You are our star, and we will be the sky that holds you."