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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Feldman leaving as leader of Worcester health center
Zoila Torres Feldman, an ardent advocate for expanding access to high-quality health care, is leaving as chief executive officer of Great Brook Valley Health Center in Worcester after 26 years.
Feldman, 62, said her Oct. 1 departure is "absolutely not" a retirement. She has accepted no specific position but said she is passionate about addressing the ethnic and racial disparities that persist in health care.
"There are too many challenges in health care I’d like to participate in," she said in an interview. "I’d like to do some new things."
Her influence has been felt beyond Worcester, where the health center grew from an apartment in a housing complex to a free-standing clinic with an annual budget of $23 million and 140,000 patients a year. Another health center opened in Framingham last year, despite anti-immigrant opposition.
Feldman, who lives in Newton, is a native of Ecuador and a graduate of Boston University and the Harvard School of Public Health. She worked as a nurse for 12 years at Tufts-New England Medical Center.
"I think there is no more talented and respected community health leader in the commonwealth than Zoila," Andrew Dreyfus, executive vice president of health care services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, said in an interview. "Her center was a kind of magnet for innovation in community health delivery. She was always a thought leader in the kind of public policy issues that surround the community health movement."