As the United States begins to recover from the disruption created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to focus on the long-term impacts of changing social practices and economic harm. The harsh reality of COVID is that it has disproportionately impacted underserved communities. In Massachusetts, without a concerted effort on the part of policy and healthcare workers, those impacts may continue to grow over the coming months and years. In particular, experts say food insecurity and healthcare access must become focal points of successful, long-term recovery plans.
As part of the Hunger to Health Collaboratory, the Museum of Science has convened a panel of experts to discuss COVID in our communities. Dr. Kara Miller, host of the radio show Innovation Hub from WGBH and PRX, moderates a discussion with Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, Dr. Holly Oh, Chief Medical Director at the Dimock Health Center, and Marty Martinez, Chief of the Mayor’s Office of Health and Human Services for the city of Boston. They discuss concerns surrounding food insecurity, healthcare access, and other issues that will arise in our most vulnerable neighborhoods while living in COVID times.
Also, the Museum of Science is offering free virtual programming daily from live presentations, virtual exhibits, STEM activities, and more. Please visit https://mos.org/mos-at-home for our virtual offerings.
BIO: Kara Miller
Kara Miller is the host and executive editor of the public radio program Innovation Hub, which she helped launch in 2011. The program now airs on more than 120 stations, including New York, Chicago, Boston, Houston, and Philadelphia. Innovation Hub is a weekly, hour-long show that focuses on big ideas and new research. As a host, Kara has interviewed Steve Wozniak, Sherry Turkle, Jared Diamond, Sal Khan, Yo-Yo Ma, Marissa Mayer, and Garry Kasparov, among others. Her writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The National Journal, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post and The International Herald Tribune. Kara has also contributed to other national radio programs, including “The Takeaway,” “Marketplace Tech,” and “The World.” Kara holds a Ph.D. from Tufts and a B.A. from Yale.
BIO: Marty Martinez
Marty Martinez serves as the Chief of the Mayor’s Office Health and Human Services for the City of Boston, the largest agency within City government. Chief Martinez oversees 10 departments that include the Boston Public Health Commission, the Office of Recovery Services, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families, as well as the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. Chief Martinez currently leads the City’s response to the opioid epidemic as well as the City’s overall recovery infrastructure. Chief Martinez also oversees the expansion of youth development programming that encompasses the City’s violence prevention and intervention efforts.
BIO: Dr. Holly Oh
Dr. Holly Oh is the Chief Medical Officer and a Pediatrician at the Roxbury-based Dimock Center serving Boston’s inner city neighborhoods. Inspired by the dignity and the resilience of her patients and families, she is committed to improving operational systems and community resource integration in health care to provide patients—particularly those in resource-challenged settings– with an excellent care experience. Dr. Oh has focused on building the Dimock’s capacity for improvement, and has lead efforts for innovative integration of medical, behavioral health and community resources for families and communities. She also currently serves as the Chair of the Quality Committee of the Community Care Cooperative (the only primary care-led Medicaid ACO in Massachusetts), and begins an appointment with the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Medicine in June 2020.
BIO: Catherine D’Amato
Catherine D’Amato has been in the food industry since the age of 8 when her Italian-immigrant father opened a restaurant in Redding, California. A tireless advocate for the hungry for more than 38 years, D’Amato assumed the leadership of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) in 1995.
Under her guidance, GBFB’s food distribution has increased from the equivalent of 7.5 million meals to more than 50 million healthy meals annually. Today, GBFB is a $95 million charitable business with a network of 526 member food pantries, meal programs and shelters across Eastern Massachusetts, serving more than 140,000 people every month.