Healthy City Fall River
GFR Fitness Challenge

Worksite Collaborative


Tracy Ibbotson

Vice Chairperson
Kerry Mello

Second Vice Chairperson
Colleen Hart

Wendy Garf-Lipp


Lisa Alves


Greater Fall River Partners for Health and Well Being  
Wendy Garf-Lipp

Healthy Eating/Active Living
Julianne Kelly
David Weed

Healthy Youth Task Force
Michaela Hetzler

Annemarie Sharkey

Substance Abuse Task Force
Rachel Davis
Stephanie Perry

Suicide Prevention Task Force
Wendy Garf-Lipp


Worksite Wellness Coordinator
Angela Bannister

SCI Americorp
Jay Wong

Community Outreach Manager
Jack Shipley

 Community Meda and Outreach Coordinator
Michael Coughlin

Staff Payroll Administrator
Patricia Fanning

School Wellness Coordinator
Marcia Picard

Community Health & Wellness Coordinator
Annemarie Sharkey

Partners Executive Director
Dr. David Weed


BMC Health Net Plan
Olivia Botelho

Bristol County DA's Office
Eric Poulin

Bristol Elder Services
Patricia Robertson

Child & Family Services
Kathryn Rodrigues

CFC Family Planning
Lynda Sampson

Department of Mental Health
Selena Robertson

Fall River Board of Health Agent
Marilyn Edge

Fall River Community Representative
Gladys Rosofsky
Kathy Lowney

FR Family Service Assn.
Patricia Fanning
Mike Moran

Fall River Housing Authority
Colleen Hart
Tim Burke

Fall River Public Schools
Michelle Sharpe

Fall River WIC Program
Lisa Alves

Greater Fall River Re-Creation
Grace Gerling

HealthFirst Family Care
Linda Hennessey

NHP Ships' Cove
Pamela Anderson-Livingston

People Inc./Early Intervention
Robin Jones

Senior Whole Health
Carol Hernandez

South Bay Community Serivces
Melissa Jodat
Judith Hahn

Southcoast Health
Kerry Mello

Southcoast YMCA
Annemarie Sawyer

Stanley Street Treatment and Resources
Laura Washington
Nic Charest

Steward/Saint Anne's Hospital
Tracy Ibbotson

United Neighbors of FR
Wendy Garf-Lipp



About Partners

Our Vision

Building healthy communities is a shared responsibility. Partners for a Healthier Community has mounted a combined effort involving all sectors of our communities - - community residents, health professionals, government, business leaders, clergy, and schools - - to improve the health and quality of life for all residents of Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, and Westport. Our effort mirrors similar projects in communities across the nation and around the world - people coming together to work cooperatively to solve problems and improve the health and quality of life for the entire community. A healthy community is one that is continually creating and improving itself to ensure a healthy environment for all residents.

Partners has adopted the World Health Organization's description of a healthy community:

  • high levels of community participation in all aspects of community life;

  • health care services which focus on prevention and staying healthy;

  • a non-violent and safe community environment;

  • plenty of affordable housing;

  • employment and educational opportunities for all;

  • accessible recreation opportunities;

  • safe and healthy workplaces;

  • accessible transportation systems; 

  • healthy and safe environment.


Partners for a Healthier Community is Number 25 of the 27 CHNAs organized by the Department of Public Health (DPH) across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The goal of Partners is to establish a working partnership between DPH and area residents to improve health status in the four communities of Fall River, Somerset, Swansea and Westport.

Since its inception, Partners has been a catalyst in bringing new healthcare and related resources to the Greater Fall River area. The Well Women Project and the Medi-Call Programs were awarded to Fall River with the support of Partners. In 1998, Partners was awarded a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to establish a "Master Community Action Plan" (MCAP) for the community. Through the MCAP process, Partners has engaged the community in a strategic planning process to improve coordination of health services.

Partners for a Healthier Community has repeatedly and successfully mobilized community resources to address identified community health needs. It is our vision to expand resources and services to better meet the needs of all residents in the Greater Fall River area and ultimately build a healthier community. The most recent example of that effort is embodied in the Healthy City Fall River initiative, a nationally-recognized model of community health promotion.


Partners is a not-for-profit corporation in Massachusetts (Partnership for a Healthier Community, Inc.*) governed by a 15-25 member Steering Committee elected bienally by the general membership at its annual meeting held in the Fall of each year (see By-Laws). Officers of the Steering Committee are elected bi-annually by members of the Steering Committee. Standing committees of Partners include Nominating, Membership, By-Laws, Inter-CHNA and Finance committees. Ad hoc committees are appointed as needed. 

The work of Partners is performed in task forces or Task Forces designated by the Steering Committee to focus on one area of concern identified through a periodic needs assessment process. Membership on the Task Forces is open to any person who has an interest in working on the designated issues. 


In 2003, Partners was funded by the Harvard-Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation for the first year of operations for the Healthy City Fall River initiative. This project is a collaborative effort with the Mayor's Office of the City of Fall River to improve the overall health and quality of life of those who live and work in the City using the Healthy Cities model adopted by the World Health Organization. 

Since that time, Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. has received funds for Innovative Community Activities from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Determination of Need (DON)  linkage funds from Magnetic Resonance Imaging agencies: Shields Healthcare, Southeastern Massachusetts MRI, Saint Anne's Hospital, and Southcoast Hospitals Group.

Partners also works collaboratively with its members to develop grants that will bring in funds to support prevention and health initiatives in the Greater Fall River Area. The Children In Balance Project, the Healthy Lives Program, and the Mass In Motion Project are three examples of our achievements in bringing in more than $750,000 to the community since 2007.


*EIN 04-3409125.