YOUR CHOICE ’21: Health candidates discuss goals for term

Each week, the Abington News is asking the three residents running for the board of health a question to help voters better understand them as candidates. Election Day is Saturday, April 24.

This week’s question was: if elected,  what goals do you have for yourself in your first term? What will you want voters to judge you on 3 years from now? 

In case you missed it:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Chris Schultz

My goals for my first term were to work to make the Board of Health more transparent and accessible, and I feel I accomplished that. If elected to a second term, my main goal is to continue to partner with the Health Department to bring more services and public health education to our residents. Utilizing both in person teaching (once that is safe to resume) and our relationship with Abington CAM, there are many opportunities to offer training and learning. Whether it be first aid and emergency preparedness, healthy lifestyles or recycling and composting, we can help make our community safer and healthier together. The Health Department is already working toward this end, and I am hoping to see the Board of Health take an active role as well. 

My desire has always been to make informed decisions to safeguard and hopefully improve the health and well being of our residents. If I can play a part in accomplishing that while continuing to ensure the Board of Health is transparent and responsive, I feel I will have served my town well and hopefully the voters will as well.

Kevin Whalen

My goal is continue the high level of service, the Board of Health provides to the residents and businesses of Abington. I will work to improve recycling and composting programs to help reduce costs. I will work to maintain the current funding structure to support the waste contract.

I will support Board of Health staff in their mission to serve the residents of Abington. The residents of Abington should judge the Board of Health on the quality of the services provided and the professionalism of the staff we employ. I look forward to serving the residents of Abington.

Melissa Pond

My vision for the board, if I’m elected, is to enhance communications with the public; align with resources to support our aging population; and promote more access to community-based healthcare.

By the end of my first term, I believe these Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals will be achieved. I will help increase the board’s social media reach. After five years of overseeing an annual national advocacy campaign for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the CDBG Coalition, I helped create the winning communications strategy formula to reach close to 2.5 million people on Twitter alone. Stats also increased year over year on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. I will help designate our community as “age-friendly” through the AARP network and bring together stakeholders to move that initiative forward. As a Community Development Planner in Quincy, I helped facilitate the “Age-Friendly” conversation with stakeholders from across the community which helped us align with additional financial resources, including a $100,000 state grant in 2020. And finally, I intend to help facilitate the opening of a community health center in Abington. While Abington fought for resources to host local vaccine clinics, other communities on the South Shore who have a community health center were able to reliably partner to keep local access to vaccines. I believe this fact illustrates the necessity to have community-based healthcare providers as part of the essential supportive services.  

I want the voters to judge me if I helped create a better quality of life for Abington residents through my service on the Board of Health. Did I help bridge the gap of communication? Did I facilitate meaningful board of health initiatives? Did I serve above and beyond expectation?

I look at the big picture. I’m a systems thinker. I see the opportunity to serve the board of health as so much more than a monthly meeting. I see an opportunity to bring my experience and collaborate across the community to promote a healthy future for Abington. 

%d bloggers like this: