Celebrating Henia Handler, Longtime Fenway Health Director of Government Relations

Henia Handler, longtime Fenway Health Director of Government Relations, is retiring. © 2016 Marilyn Humphries

Closing out an extraordinary career of public service spanning decades, Henia Handler, Fenway Health Director of Government Relations, is retiring. Few people have had more of an impact on Fenway and the communities we care for than Henia. Her commitment to our community, our neighborhood, our staff and our patients is unparalleled.

A lifelong activist and advocate for public health, Henia joined Fenway Community Health Center back in January, 1990 after finishing a second round of graduate work at Brandeis. Charged with building Fenway’s community outreach programs, she quickly understood that “building” Fenway’s programs was highly dependent on the opportunities to seek public sector support and funding, at the city, state and federal levels.  Reaching out to our elected representatives and presenting Fenway, our work, our promise and our unique capabilities, Henia made connections in all corners of the public arena helping Fenway stay financially viable during the darkest days of the HIV crisis.

For the past couple of decades, Henia has overseen policy development and advocacy on issues of importance to community health centers, the procurement of new public funds, and all grant and contract performance and reporting.  Henia has advocated for LGBT health and HIV/AIDS concerns with public officials at the local, state, and federal level; provided leadership in national organizations that focus on funding for persons living with HIV/AIDS, health services for the LGBT population and Community Health centers, and worked with the management team on strategic planning related to new funding and program opportunities.

Henia is well known for her public health work on both the state and national levels.  She serves on the Board of Directors for both the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and the National Coalition for LGBT Health. She has received numerous awards for her work on behalf of the LGBT community, including the LGBT Achievement Award from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Edward M. Kennedy Founder Award from the Mass League. Henia has spent her entire career in passionate pursuit of access to healthcare for all, especially for vulnerable and oppressed populations and we are so fortunate to have had her on our side for so many years.

Please join us in wishing Henia a happy and adventurous retirement!

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