Lynn Community Health Center was proud to host a successful fundraising event and celebration on Wednesday, June 14th, on the rooftop at Swampscott’s Mission on the Bay.
The evening featured our medical respite care program, the Deborah Smith Walsh Recuperative Care Center (RCC). Even stormy weather couldn’t dim the energy in the room as we honored both the staff and work of the RCC, and the center’s namesake and advocate, Deborah Smith Walsh.
The Recuperative Care Center provides a safe place to heal for individuals who are too sick to remain in the shelter or on the streets, but are not sick enough to stay in our local community hospital. The RCC’s impact on the health and well-being of our patients and our community is a proud example of our mission. This team provides medical respite care and coordination of services to medically complex and housing insecure adults in the Lynn area. The program provides guests with much-needed care at a critical time in their rehabilitation, and an alternative to trying to recuperate on the streets. The Center staff identifies clients who are unconnected to care and have a history of multiple emergency department visits. By coordinating medical care, short-term residential care, and other services, the RCC provides a vital service to support medically and psychiatrically complex homeless adults.
The RCC also has a Medical Outreach Program that goes to where the people are. Working closely with organizations like My Brother’s Table, the RCC extension identifies and supports those who need our services in the community and while holding open clinic hours at My Brother’s Table.
Watch a short event recap
Deborah Smith Walsh was an avid and early supporter of the Lynn Community Health Center. A Lynn native, Debbie joined the Health Center’s Board of Directors in 1977 and served for several terms, including as Board President. Upon leaving the LCHC Board, she continued to serve as needed on key committees, continuing to lend her knowledge and support. In 2004, after a long career in public service as a School Committee member and City Councilor in Lynn, Debbie joined the staff of the Health Center as our Community Liaison and continued working until just a few weeks before her death in March 2020.
Debbie loved her job and her coworkers—she was someone who got to know everyone in the building, from the CEO to the custodial staff. She lived the mission of the Health Center and was a skilled ambassador to the Lynn community. Known as a go-to person for getting things done, she was especially proud of her work to expand the school-based health centers in Lynn’s public schools and negotiating with the city to secure the land on which to build the new building. She was involved in almost every project that happened at LCHC during her time here. Whether it was Zumba in Central Square and a volleyball game at the Lynn Museum to celebrate National Health Center Week; the Women’s Breakfast; Employee Appreciation cookouts; walking club with coworkers; health fairs; or Baby’s First Christmas, just to name a few, Debbie was there, helping. She truly embraced and understood the “community” part of our name.
Another Health Center project that that was close to Debbie’s heart was the Recuperative Care Center. She worked for many years to see it evolve from an idea into a reality. Debbie dedicated her life in public service and public health to representing the people who need and find care at places like the Recuperative Care Center. In honor of Debbie’s memory and her dedication to this project, it is our privilege to name this program the Deborah Smith Walsh Recuperative Care Center.
Deborah Smith Walsh often summed up her work, and that of Lynn Community Health Center, as this:
“To be fully alive is to work for the common good”
—Sister Corita Kent