I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in a city in Connecticut. My father was a WWII veteran who fought on Omaha beach in the invasion of Normandy. He and his two brothers ran a family business established by my immigrant grandfather. My mom was a volunteer for charitable organizations.
I was the first in my family to graduate from college. I earned my BA from the University of Pennsylvania and my MD from Downstate College of Medicine in New York. I was a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Johns Hopkins where I became interested in ways to improve the delivery of health care services and studied clinical research methodology. I was a primary care pediatrician in clinical practice for over 40 years.
My wife Lisa Rosenfeld and I have lived in Newton for more than 40 years. We raised our three children in Newton, where they attended Solomon Schechter Day School and then Newton South High School. We now have three grandchildren.
My wife Lisa is Counsel to the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities in the Massachusetts Statehouse. Like me, she has a particular interest in the wellbeing of children and families facing health and other challenges. Both of our careers have been focused on the public good.
My career as a doctor has included significant management, finance, and board experience. As Medical Director and President of Southboro Medical Group, I helped grow the multi-specialty group to one with more than 100 providers. I recognized the need to prioritize preventative care and outpatient care to achieve the best health outcomes for patients and to keep their healthcare expenses more closely aligned with their best outcomes. Southboro Medical Group, along with Dedham Medical Associates and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, became the nucleus of what would become Atrius Health, the largest independent, non-profit healthcare delivery network in Massachusetts, serving nearly one million patients in Massachusetts. I’m retired now, but previously served on the Board of Directors of Atrius Health and of Reliant Medical Group. I’ve served on many committees dealing with healthcare delivery and quality.
As a doctor, I have long had a special interest in children and young adults with autism and developmental disabilities and later in my career I served with former Governor Michael Dukakis on the Board of Directors of the New England Center for Children, a global network of educators, researchers and programs dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people living with autism.
I also served as president of the Board of Directors of Solomon Schechter Day School. Education is one of the most important means for uplifting and empowering children and adults, encouraging kindness and civility, and ensuring an engaged citizenry and healthy democracy. I am deeply committed to excellence in Newton’s public schools, and in its private and religious schools as well. I’m an active member of a small, independent, co-operative synagogue called the Walnut Street Minyan.
We wanted our children to experience religious education. They thrived at Solomon Schechter. They also enjoyed a great education at Newton South High School, but I wondered why there wasn’t a nearby multi-denominational, community Jewish high school available for families who really wanted their children to continue with education in the Jewish tradition. So, I initiated the effort to create such a school, now called Gann Academy. I went on to serve as President of Gann’s Board of Trustees, and I am immensely proud of how Gann Academy has grown and thrived.
I’m also active in volunteer service to those in need in Newton and in surrounding area. For the past several years, I’ve picked up donated food from restaurants, Wegman’s and the Fair Foods central depot and driven to deliver it, when I can, to food pantries in Brookline and West Roxbury and to Newton’s Freedge free food refrigerator on Watertown Street in Nonantum.
I’ve long been engaged in civic activities. I was actively involved in the passage of legislation at the state level that allowed medical assistants to legally administer vaccines. This later proved to be of great benefit during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most recently, I’ve worked with legislators, historians, researchers and advocates on passage of legislation that would provide transparency for family members and researchers eager to learn what happened to children and adults, many suffering from mental illness or developmental disabilities, who were confined over many years in State institutions. We were pleased last year when Bill H.2090, establishing a Commission to study the history of these State institutions, was passed.
I have also worked with others for the last several years to pass another bill that would allow unfettered access to researchers and family members to State Archive records more than 75 years old from these institutions. More than three hundred of those confined to these institutions were later buried in barely marked graves in a swampy field between two institutions, after years of suspected neglect and abuse. Along with the families, our group has met at the former burial ground for ceremonies to honor these victims.
Since my retirement, I have also worked to provide better services for seniors concerned about end-of-life health and financial preparations. I have also volunteered with the Refugee Health Alliance and travelled to the Mexican side of our border to provide medical services to migrant children there.
My other interests include reading, travel, hiking, biking, swimming, gardening, the environment and spending time with our grandchildren.