By McKenzie Ridings
This is the first edition of Heroes in Health, a new series on the Healthy Boston Blog that highlights the tremendous work and accomplishments of staff here at the Boston Public Health Commission. Check back each month to see who’s in the spotlight.
Next month, the Cambridge Health Alliance will honor Michael Goldrosen, Director of the HIV/AIDS Services Division at the Boston Public Health Commission, with its First Community Award at the third annual World AIDS Day Multicultural Dinner.
The inaugural community award recognizes Michael’s leadership and dedication to improving health and access to services for those living with HIV/AIDS. It celebrates his 22 years of work in public health and his 16 years at the Boston Public Health Commission overseeing Ryan White Part A funding. The program aims to ensure that all People Living with HIV (PLWH) in the Boston and its surrounding areas have equal access to a comprehensive continuum of HIV care.
Michael began his career as a community organizer working to end poverty and increase affordable housing opportunities for those living in Somerville, where he helped establish the first HIV/AIDS Commission. He transitioned to public health and government after taking a position at the Department of Public Health in the Bureau of Substance Abuse. In 1998, Michael came to the Commission as the Director of Client Services in the HIV/AIDS Division and in 2007, he became the Director of the division.
In his time at BPHC, Michael has overseen the federal Ryan White Part A program, including leading the annual grant application process that funds over 40 community based agencies located within 10 counties in the Boston metropolitan area. These agencies provide a continuum of HIV/AIDS health and health related services to over 7,000 low-income persons each year, ensuring that those living with the disease have access to quality care. Michael, his team, and agency partners strive to improve each client’s health and quality of life.
Michael has also worked closely with the Boston HIV/AIDS Services Planning Council. The Planning Council organizes, evaluates, prioritizes, and allocates Ryan White Part A funding in the Boston area to serve those that are most heavily impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
For Michael, his award is a testament to the quality and dedication of everyone who partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS. From his colleagues at BPHC and the Department of Public Health to the funded agencies, Michael believes that collaboration is truly making a difference.
In Massachusetts, there has been a decline in HIV infection and a dramatic reduction in mortality rates. Thanks in no small part to Michael’s efforts, people living with HIV/AIDS in greater Boston are getting quality care and living longer, healthier lives. After 22 years, Michael says the positive impact of his work is the true reward.
McKenzie is the Social Media Manager for BPHC.