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Congressman Neal receives Caritas Award at annual gala

March 25, 2019
In The News

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, (D-Springfield), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has received the Caritas Award for his leadership and commitment to important health care issues that have benefitted the local community, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the nation. 

“Congressman Neal has not only been instrumental in preserving hospital Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates, he has also championed the Affordable Care Act and the creation of Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations in Massachusetts. At the same time, he continues to support funding and programs to address the opioid epidemic, such as Mercy’s Pathway to Care,” said Mark Fulco, president of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates.

“His longstanding support of these and other vital health care initiatives have ensured the availability of health care providers and the sustainability of health care facilities, and make him an excellent choice for this important award,” Fulco said.

Two additional Caritas Awards were also presented to Dean Whalen, former chairman of the Board for Mercy Medical Center, and John Sjoberg, who has provided governance and philanthropic support to Mercy for almost 25 years. 

Whalen joined the Mercy Board of Trustees in 2010, later serving as secretary and vice chair. He has also served on Mercy’s Foundation Board, the Quality Improvement Committee, the Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee, and the Brightside Golf Tournament Committee. 

Sjoberg’s connection to Mercy began in 1993 when he served as chairman of the Gift of Light Committee. Since then, he has served as chairman of the Foundation Board, chairman of the Board of Trustees for Mercy Medical Center and the former Sisters of Providence Health System, and as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees for Trinity Health Of New England. 

“Dean and John have been tremendous supporters of Mercy Medical Center for many years and we have benefitted from their leadership skills, business acumen, and commitment to our Mission,” said Fulco.  “We are grateful for their service and the opportunity to present them with well-deserved Caritas Awards.”

The Caritas Awards were presented at Mercy Medical Center’s Caritas Gala at MGM Springfield. 
The Gala, with its “An Evening at the Emmys” theme, raised funds to support Mercy Medical Center, including renovations to Mercy’s Emergency Department, designed to ensure reduced wait times, provide additional patient beds, and deliver a greater patient experience.

Honorary chairpersons for the event were Paul Marchese, vice chair of Mercy Medical Center’s Board of Trustees; Dr. Louis Durkin, medical director of the Emergency Department; registered nurse Erin Daley director, Emergency Room Services; and registered nurse Carolyn Meuse, Emergency Department Complex Care quality coordinator.

Emergency Medicine Solutions was the Platinum Sponsor of the Caritas Gala; additional major sponsors were Powerstation Events; Woodland Anesthesiology Associates, P.C.; Business West/ Health Care News; and The Republican.    

Plans are already underway for the fourth annual Caritas Gala which will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at MGM Springfield.