Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) is proud to announce Cynthia (Cindy) Slaga, NP, as the 2024 Community Health Center Clinician of the Year, awarded by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Joining Dr. Stephanie Billings of Holyoke Health Center, Cindy is one of only two statewide recipients. She will receive this honor at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers’ Annual Awards Gala on June 7th.
Cindy leads Lowell CHC’s school-based health center program, which includes centers at Lowell High School and Stoklosa Middle School.
Susan West Levine, CEO of Lowell CHC, speaks highly of Cindy: “Cindy’s dedication is evident the moment she speaks about her students and you see the smile and passion on her face. Her leadership has transformed our School-Based Health Centers into environments that are safe havens for students where they can receive comprehensive care and support.”
Kumble Rajesh, Chief Medical Officer, comments on Cindy’s holistic approach: “Cindy ensures all students, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, receive complete health services. Her work addresses their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.”
Elizabeth Hale, Chief Operating Officer, remarks on Cindy’s role: “Cindy is more than a clinician; she’s a trusted caregiver and advocate. Her innovative practices and commitment to health equity exemplify what this award signifies.”
Cindy Slaga reflects on the award: “Thank you! I am truly honored. I appreciate all the support that has been given to the growth of the school-based health program. I am excited to share this recognition with our entire school-based health center team and the youth of Lowell. This award inspires me to continue the very important work of a community health center in meeting the unique healthcare needs of the community.”
Since 2016, Cindy has been pivotal in Lowell CHC’s School-Based Health Center program, focusing on adolescent health. Her efforts during the pandemic and her continuous work in promoting health equity and innovative youth health services underscore her worthiness of this recognition.
Cindy’s initiatives, like offering diverse contraceptive services and LGBTQIA+ support, and integrating behavioral health services into the School-Based Health Center program, demonstrate her commitment to addressing the varied needs of students. Additionally, her work providing healthcare and vaccines to refugees and new arrivals during summer breaks highlights her dedication to health equity. Most recently, she’s launched a Youth Advisory Council to further engage and ensure a student-centric program.
Lowell CHC’s School-Based Health Centers facilitate academic achievement by ensuring medical and behavioral health services are accessible in the school environment. Recognizing that addressing students’ physical and mental health needs increases their readiness for learning, the centers aim to reduce class time missed and enhance lifelong success.