On Monday the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center held its seventh annual Art of Health Care event at the ICA’s Watershed at the Boston Shipyard and Marina.
This year the annual innovative fundraiser to celebrate EBNHC’s mission in the community and the healing impact of art will paid special tribute to President of New England Baptist Hospital David Passafaro and EBNHC Board of Directors Clerk Jennifer Blanco, who received the EBNHC’s prestigious Maestro Award for their dedication to the community and city.
Passafaro is president of New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH). Previously, he served as senior vice president of external affairs overseeing the offices of Community and Government Relations, Philanthropy, Real Estate and Construction.
Passafaro has extensive government and political experience, serving as Chief of Staff for the Office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, and President of Boston 2004, Inc., a single purpose nonprofit that represents the city in staging the Democratic National Convention. In the early 1980s, he served in Washington D.C. working for the US Senate and in the early 1990s as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. and Boston with the firm McDermott/O’Neil & Associates.
Prior to joining NEBH, Passafaro served as vice president for business development at Suffolk Construction Company where he was responsible for business development and client relationships for clients in the commercial, hospital, healthcare and higher education sectors in the Northeast. He also served as Vice President for Business Development at William A. Berry & Son Construction and Managing Director for Real Estate at Cambridge Associates Holdings Company.
Passafaro previously served on several boards and commissions, including: Boston Medical Center, Board of Trustees, Finance Chairman; Chairman of Boston Medical Center Insurance Co., LTD and GMPCI, LTD, both captive insurance companies; Zoo New England Board of Directors; and City of Boston Rent Equity Board. David holds a BA in political science from Marquette University and a MA in international affairs and foreign policy from Georgetown University.
For nearly two decades, Blanco has provided at-risk youth and families with services and resources that foster stable family relationships and enhance children’s physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. Blanco began her career at East Boston Head Start as a part-time summer teaching assistant. In 2000, she took a position teaching preschool at a private school. Five years later, Jennifer returned to East Boston Head Start as a family advocate, where she held the position of family advocate until 2010.
After serving as a family community engagement supervisor at Parker Hill, in 2011 Jennifer transferred to the Jamaica Plain Head Start. In 2014 she returned to the East Boston Head Start location, where she works today.
Blanco holds a master of science degree in family studies from Wheelock College. She has served as Clerk of the EBNHC Board of Directors since 2001.
Each year through corporate and private sponsorships, ticket sales, a silent art auction, raffles and other donations the event raises $250,000 for the Health Center’s crucial programs.
EBNHC manages innovative programs that support children’s health and wellness. Through its Pediatrics and Family Medicine primary care departments, EBNHC has developed relationships that help meet the unique challenges faced by children and young adults in the community. While positively impacting children’s lives, these programs have many non-reimbursable expenses and often run at significant deficits. Fundraising, through individual and corporate donations as well as grants, allows EBNHC to continue these effective mission-aligned programs, which serve young community members most in need.
“The Art of Health Care event is very important to our Organization,” said EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes. “The Health Center runs some amazing special programs that have huge impact in our community. Examples include our Let’s Get Moving Program, which helps kids and families stay active and fit. Our CATCH Program, which closely coordinates care and activities for medically complex children. Our Project Shine, which coordinates care and does education around HIV. Our Youth and Young Adult Pathways Programs (YYAPP), based at our Education and Training Institute (ETI), helps children and young adults move onto positive paths toward healthy and responsible adulthood.”
Featured cuisine at the event included offerings from Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta; Dan Lyons of Maverick Marketplace Café; Shelly Demmon of Chelsea Station; and Anthony Pino of the Cunard Tavern.