We are grateful for those who volunteer their time to be on the WHBC Steering Committee:
Sara Shields, MD
Sara G. Shields, MD, clinical professor of family medicine & community health and a physician at the Family Health Center of Worcester. Board certified in family medicine, Shields has served patients at the Family Health Center of Worcester since 1995. She helped begin the health center’s participation in a program called Centering Pregnancy, which consists of group prenatal visits and has been shown in national studies to reduce preterm birth among low-income women. Shields has served as a mentor to scores of resident physicians and medical students. In addition to her clinical and academic roles, Shields is chair of the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative (formerly the Worcester Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force). She joined that group in 2001, served as vice chair from 2011 to 2016 and has been chair since 2016.
Michael Hirsh, MD
Dr. Michael Hirsh has an extensive history working in injury prevention work in the public school system, with the Parks Department, the DA’s office on Child Fatality Review and the Worcester Police on the Goods for Guns buyback program and Gang Task Force. He was drafted by the City Manager to serve as the Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Worcester in 2012. In the seven years since, his team has seen the WDPH expand its services into 6 surrounding communities, become the anchoring organization for an Academic Health Collaborative, aligning WDPH as a living lab with 7 universities in Worcester, becoming the first Nationally accredited DPH in the Commonwealth of MA (and only one of approximately 130 out of 5400+ DPH’s nationwide). Also, in his role, the WDPH reestablished a dormant Board of Health into a true regulatory body.
Heather Alker, MD, MPH
Heather Alker MD MPH is board certified in both Obstetrics & Gynecology and Preventive Medicine. She is an instructor in Public Health at UMass Amherst, where she teaches in the MPH program. She works at UMass Medical School as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Preventive Medicine division. She is a member of the Healthy Baby Collaborative working on reducing infant mortality in Worcester. She is Chair of the Occupational and Environmental Health Committee at Massachusetts Medical Society. She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and the Tufts Affiliated Program in Obstetrics & Gynecology as well as the Preventive Medicine Fellowship at UMass Medical School.
Tina Grosowsky, MA
Tina Grosowsky has been working in Tobacco Prevention for over 20 years. She is currently the Project Coordinator for the Central Massachusetts Tobacco Free Community Partnerships at UMASS Medical School, a state-funded program through the MA Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program. She is a member of the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester Steering Committee and Co-Chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee. She was instrumental in passing a town bylaw in Acton, MA to ban smoking in restaurants in 1998 and a town workplace smoking ban in 2000. She worked as the Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the town of Westford, MA for 10 years. Tina holds a Master’s Degree in Expressive Movement Therapy and a Master’s in Fine Arts in Choreography and Performing Arts. Tina is married and has a daughter. She has had a daily meditation and yoga practice for over 18 years.
Anne Covino, CNM
Anne Covino has been a certified nurse midwife at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester, MA since 2002. Anne graduated from the Georgetown University School of Nursing in the Nurse Midwifery Program. Anne has been the lead midwife at Saint Vincent’s Hospital since 2018 and is involved in numerous community committees, coalitions and activities.
Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD
Heather-Lyn Haley is a sociologist and assistant professor at the UMASS Medical School in the department of Family Medicine and Community Health, where she teaches about the social determinants of health. Dr. Haley was a 2016 recipient of a March of Dimes grant for “Implementing a Community Engagement Model for Reducing Hispanic Infant Mortality” in Worcester, which supported outreach and education through the Community Quilt Project.
We are deeply grateful for the support of many partners throughout the years: