Thomas Wolff, PhD, Wins Community Leadership Award

October 3, 2000

WORCESTER, Mass.- WORCESTER, Mass.-Thomas J. Wolff, PhD, Director of Community Development for the Office of Community Programs and an associate in family medicine and community health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, recently received a Community Leadership Award from Health Care for All, a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to assuring that all state residents have access to quality medical care. Dr. Wolff was honored at the HCA's awards ceremony, "For the People, Against the Tide," for his work to create a statewide network of health care advocates. His unique leadership development model has been instrumental in building important partnerships with state and local governments.

"Sixteen years ago we started building community coalitions in some of the most neglected areas of the state-North Quabbin, Northern Berkshire, and the Lower Outer Cape," said Dr. Wolff. "In all our work on health access, the ultimate goal is the health of the citizens, but our understanding of health from a public health view would tell us that health care access accounts for only 10% of an individual's health. The other 90% comes from environmental, social, political, genetic, and life choice behavior options. That is why we are working to build empowered communities," he said, "and that will be our ultimate challenge."