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

February 6, 2021

Submitted by Sarah Blackman and Meg McAllister

We are honored and excited to endorse Catherine Van Praagh for the Bedford Board of Health. As two West Bedford friends, we have spent much of the past year following the complicated health and wellness issues in our town. We realize the challenges facing the BOH this year and believe that Catherine Van Praagh is a great choice during this important time. We will be voting for her on March 13 and encourage you to do the same.

Catherine possesses the leadership skills and public health knowledge necessary to make meaningful contributions on the BOH. She “knows her stuff” and she has an excellent style of communicating it. Catherine is well-versed across scientific and medical disciplines. She is capable of breaking down data from different sources to make it understandable and determine its relevance. Her critical thinking skills and intelligence allow her to follow the rapidly changing current public health crisis and effectively share information with the town.

Catherine’s problem-solving style is pragmatic and balanced. She is open to competing views, is an excellent listener, and is capable of de-escalating heated discussions. Catherine is not influenced by strong emotions. She has proven this every time she weighs in on a controversial topic. Her favorite phrases are “The body of evidence shows…” and “Do all the things you can reasonably do.”

  • Catherine Van Praagh is intelligent, respectful, and capable.
  • She follows the evidence and data, not any kind of personal agenda.
  • She welcomes differing perspectives, always striking a balanced view.
  • She has excellent communication skills and is good at explaining complex scientific ideas in a way we all can understand.

For all of these reasons, we think Catherine is highly qualified for the difficult work the Bedford BOH faces in 2021 and into the future.

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