MetroWest Health Foundation Honors BVT Supt. Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick
Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick
In presenting the award to Fitzpatrick, Joel Barrera, the chair of the foundation’s board of trustees, cited numerous examples of how Fitzpatrick has instilled a culture of health and wellness within the school district. “While the mission of the Blackstone Valley Vocational Technical High School is to prepare students to be part of the workforce by preparing them academically and technically, Dr. Fitzpatrick has also recognized that health and wellness are key components to productivity and therefore essential to student success.” said Barrera.
For more than 15 years, the district has partnered with Milford Regional Medical Center to operate a school-based health center providing onsite primary medical and behavioral health services to students. Dr. Fitzpatrick has also led the district’s efforts to address healthy eating and active living through a variety of nutrition education and fitness programs available to students.
This past year, the school district, with a grant from the MetroWest Health Foundation, established a specialized transition program designed for students returning to school from extended absences due to mental or physical health issues. The “BVT Bridge” program provides flexible scheduling, individual instruction and support services to students to ease their transition back to the classroom. Blackstone Valley Tech is the nation’s first vocational technical school to offer such a program.
“School districts are important partners in the foundation’s work.” said foundation president Martin Cohen. “With leaders like Michael Fitzpatrick, we know that school districts’ attention to student health and wellness will continue to thrive.”
The Deborah Blumer Community Health Leadership Award is named for the late State Representative Deborah Blumer, who served as the founding chairwoman of the foundation’s board of trustees.
About the MetroWest Health Foundation:The MetroWest Health Foundation is a catalyst for a healthy MetroWest, providing more than $5 million in annual financial support for preventative and responsive health programs. Through its work on issues such as adolescent health, healthy aging and access to care, the foundation seeks to develop and support programs that have a positive impact on the health of the 25 communities in the MetroWest area of Massachusetts. To date, the foundation has provided more than $45 million in financial support that helps residents and their families lead healthier lives.
For more information about the foundation, visit www.mwhealth.org.