Letter to the Editor: Supporting Catherine Van Praagh for Board of Health

February 22, 2021

Submitted by Abby Hafer

I am writing this letter in support of Catherine Van Praagh, who is running for a seat on the Board of Health.

To begin with, her qualifications are superb.  She has a master’s degree in microbiology and 25 years’ experience in the field. Her work has included work in vaccine research, long-term care facilities, and teaching. She is at present managing a biological research laboratory at MIT Lincoln Labs, where she is also the Environmental Health and Safety representative.

But of equal importance is how I have seen her use her abilities and time.  She is willing to commit her time and expertise to committee work and long-term goals.  She is personable, works well with others, and has great communication skills.  She has great follow-through and gets jobs done.

She would be really good at this job. She understands the science of infectious and zoonotic diseases. She has a strong interest in public health and understands that public health is more complex than just knowledge. Public confidence, education, and understanding that each person has different risk tolerances are all keys to good public health. She has a strong track record of being able to commit to work and follow through on it in a thorough and responsible way. We will need her help and would be fortunate to have her on our Board of Health.

I look forward to voting for her on March 13, and I hope that you will do the same.

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