By John Lynds
Paula McNabb-Ippolito, Director of Pediatrics at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, was honored last Tuesday evening with the Health Center’s Maestro Award at the Fifth Annual Art of Health Care Event.
McNabb-Ippolito, who has worked at the EBNHC for over four decades, has been tireless advocate for the children in Eastie. As a nurse practitioner, she has had an immeasurable impact on children’s health as well as the nursing profession at EBNHC and beyond. As Director of Pediatrics, McNabb-Ippolito oversees EBNHC’s School-Based Health Center program, where she continues to have a fundamentally positive impact on the lives of young people.
“Paula McNabb-Ippolito has and continues to have a huge positive impact on the health of youth in our community,” said EBNHC Vice President Steve Snyder. “We were so happy to present her with our Maestro Award at this years Art of Health Care event. I’m sure there are thousands of her patients out there who would agree with us that she is truly an artist in providing care to children.”
On receiving the award, McNabb-Ippolito said none of what she nor the Health Center has been able to accomplish over the years would have ever been possible if not for the commitment and diligence of of the entire staff.
“From the nurses to the doctors to the clerks to the technicians to the medical assistants, the department has not only enjoyed the support of these individuals but the support of the board and current administration,” said McNabb-Ippolito. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with and learn from some innovative and excellent medical directors over the years. The work goes on and needs are many but the department is able to thrive with new and exciting changes that will only enhance the programs we offer this community.”
Ivan Martinez, an East Boston High School senior who graduated last Friday, talked about his experience meeting McNabb-Ippolito when he arrived from Peru four years ago through her work with the School-Based Health Center program at the High School.
“I came here four years ago and the reason why I came was to do my best and make my dreams come true,” said Martinez. “I wanted to work hard and be successful but like any person trying to achieve a goal there are difficulties and obstacles and draw backs. I’m not here to talk about those parts of my journey. I’m here to speak about the best part of my journey and that is the people we find when we are achieving our goals. Whenever we reach a goal can we truthfully say we did it alone? That’s very unlikely and for many its their friends or family that help them along the way. For me in the United States that person was Paula. Since I first met her Paula has treated me and my fellow classmates like family. You don’t find people everyday like Paula who open doors and believe in you. It’s rare. But I will be eternally grateful for having her as part of my journey.”
Under McNabb-Ippolito the EBNHC’s Pediatrics Department has provided high-quality, affordable health care to the children and families of Eastie, Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop, and Everett. Today, the Health Center’s Pediatrics Department cares for almost every child living in Eastie.
“What can I possibly say about Paula – the nurse who took care of me when I was born, took care of countless family members and so many in our community”, said EBNHC CEO Manny Lopes. “I’ll tell you this – I don’t think you could find a more humble person who takes such special interest in the care she provides to individuals. We were very fortunate to have her run Pediatrics all these years and East Boston High School is lucky to have her at the helm of our School-Based Health Center program.”