In the News

Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris Kick-off Public Health Month with Special Event at City Hall

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris held the City of Springfield’s Annual Public Health Month kick-off event today at City Hall. Mayor Sarno brought greetings and presented a proclamation declaring the month of April as Public Health Month in the city of Springfield. This year’s Public Health Month is dedicated to the late Mable Sharif who was a tireless leader and advocate for the health of our Springfield community.

Today, Reverend Dr. Mark E. Flowers and Deacon Luis Alberto Reyes provided the opening and closing prayers and Zelmon “Zee” Johnson recited a poem written by Francis Borden Hubbard. This year’s kickoff event featured Keynote Speaker Haner Hernandez and a song performance by Blu Figueroa.

Shenell Ford, who serves as an aide in Mayor Sarno’s office, as s surprise was presented with the 2024 Commissioner’s Award, which she tearfully and humbly accepted. Ms. Ford is the founder of Heart2Heartbeat Lactation & Wellness and a member of the Public Health Council. Sarita Hudson who serves as Senior Director of Programs and Development at the Public Health Institute of Western Mass was awarded the Luminary Award. These awards are given to recipients who have demonstrated leadership, excellence, and a commitment to improving community health in the City of Springfield.

Each April, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services (SDHHS), along with community partners and residents celebrate Public Health Month to raise awareness about the role and importance of public health and mental health locally as well as around the world.

In addition to the Public Health kickoff event during Public Health Month, community organizations and residents coordinate a month of public health advocacy and educational programming for residents of Springfield starting with the Public Health Month kickoff event at City Hall. This year’s Public Health Month Calendar includes nearly 20 educational events on a range of public health topics to raise community awareness of available programs and services as well as provide information about public health topics that affect our collective and individual health.

Mayor Sarno states, “In dealing with the COVID-19 world-wide pandemic, it really put to the forefront the importance of public health. Today’s celebration is dedicated to Mable Sharif who was a compassionate and truly zealous advocate here in our Springfield community. I believe Mable is smiling down on us today as we honor her tremendous legacy of service. I deeply appreciate the leadership of Health & Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, her dedicated staff, and all of the unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes to improve the public and mental health within our community so that our Springfield is a better place to live, work and play. Congratulations to Shenell Ford and Sarita Hudson on the well-deserved recognition today.

Something that Shenell and Sarita share is that they consistently do this crucial work without seeking accolades or personal recognition, they do it simply because they care and know how important it is to our community. Thank you, Shenell and Sarita, for your continued dedicated service."

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm