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Legal-aid group helps Brockton woman

Daniele Bien-Aime of Brockton delivers her talk at a recent rally in Boston seeking more state funding for civil legal aid efforts.
Daniele Bien-Aime of Brockton delivers her talk at a recent rally in Boston seeking more state funding for civil legal aid efforts.

CIVIL SUPPORT: Brockton resident Daniele Bien-Aime  had a difficult spring in 2011. Her mother had just died, and a week later, Bien-Aime was diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in a bilateral mastectomy.

Things then got worse for Bien-Aime, a native of Haiti who was a Haitian Creole interpreter at a Brockton hospital. She lost her job because of the time she needed for her cancer treatment, which included chemotherapy, and so also lost her health insurance, and the ability to pay her rent and to care for her two teenage daughters.

However, that’s when things started to turn around. Through contacts at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Bien-Aime heard about the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation. She contacted the nonprofit organization, which got her in touch with Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies, who works for South Coastal Counties Legal Services. Eventually, Bien-Aime got her job and insurance back, avoided eviction from her apartment, and put her life back on track. Bien-Aime, 42,  also became an American citizen last July.

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“I could not have gotten through all that without her help,” Bien-Aime said of Nelson-Davies, calling her “heaven-sent.”

In late January, Bien-Aime was one of hundreds who took part in the 14th annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid, where Governor Deval Patrick asked participants to urge their legislators to support increased funding for the state-supported Legal Assistance Corporation, which provides services for those who can’t afford to pay for them.

Bien-Aime, who declined to name the hospital where she works, said she developed an infection four months after her surgery, and that without insurance to help pay for her health care, “I would have died.”

“Cancer really opened my eyes, it helped me reprioritize and refocus my perspective, it showed me the true value of family and friends,’’ she said. “I didn’t have the luxury of being sick and going through recovery. I had to get up and work, no matter what. Without the help of my family, and I mean that to include Weayonnoh, I couldn’t have done it.”

Bien-Amie is cancer free, and also does interpreting work for another company and volunteers for the nonprofit Brockton-based South Shore Haitians United for Progress.  

The walk in Boston was cosponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and several other law profession associations.

CHANGING COLLEGES: Milton resident Sheila Conboy  has been named provost and senior vice president of Simmons College in Boston, with the appointment to begin July 1. She succeeds Charlena M. Seymour. The provost is the chief academic officer of the school, responsible for management of the undergraduate women’s college and its five graduate schools.

Conboy worked at Stonehill College in Easton for the past 25 years, and was provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2000. She is author of many articles, essays, book reviews and presentations, and is a trustee of Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, as well as Boston College High School.  

HELP WITH HUNGER: Hannah Breig  of Quincy recently helped prepare healthy meals at the Pine Street Inn, a Boston-based homeless shelter and one of 430 community groups across the state that receive funds from the Walk for Hunger, the oldest continual pledge walk in the country.

Breig is a walk campaign associate volunteer who is helping to organize the 45th annual walk, scheduled for May 5. Last year’s event drew 43,000 participants who raised $3.6 million for the nonprofit organization.

Registration for this year’s walk is open; information on it is available at www.projectbread.org/walk.  

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Kenneth Kirkland  of Braintree, a founding member and managing partner of Braintree-based Kirkland Albrecht & Frederickson LLC, a CPA firm, was elected chairman of the board of directors at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. The volunteer board oversees the hospital, which is a subsidiary of South

Shore Health and Educational Corporation. Mark S. Robinson, another founding member of the firm, was named to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s Continuing Professional Education Committee. 

Natalie Chandler  (inset) of Brockton was promoted to senior staffing specialist at South Shore Staffing in Canton. She will be responsible for training at the temp agency and overseeing all administrative positions. She has worked at the company for four years.

Daniel Del Vecchio, a Boston cosmetic surgeon, was named medical director of Dolce Med Spa & Boutique in Hanover, and supervises all medical spa procedures. He is a graduate of Yale University and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and is board certified in plastic surgery and general surgery.

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