Letter to the Editor: Supporting Maureen Richichi for Board of Health

March 4, 2021

Submitted by Ilse Gottlieb

Feeling strongly that the Board of Health needs the BEST EXPERTISE Bedford has to offer, for the first time in 40 years, I have chosen to publicly endorse a candidate.  At this moment in time, I cannot think of a better Board of Health candidate than Maureen Richichi.

I am going to vote for Maureen Richichi for the Board of health:

  • Because she will bring 40 years of real, relevant, Bedford-specific, current experience to the Board.
  • Because when she was Bedford’s Prevention Service’s Coordinator, she and I co-taught the drug education component of the 5th grade Project Adventure curriculum.  She brought a deep understanding of the topic but more profoundly, an understanding of her town role, and respect for my role as an educator.  This understanding empowered us to create a much richer educational experience for Bedford’s 5th graders than the one I would have been able to provide alone.
  • Because when Maureen Richichi and Ronnie Gould decided to form a committee to build Bedford’s preschool/elementary school playground across from the library, I was able to see the impact Maureen Richichi the citizen could have on the Town of Bedford.  She thoughtfully presented the need to various town constituencies and with humor, patience and data helped move, even the most reticent town committees, to support the project.  And, then, once the Town committees approved the project, Maureen was able to effectively and respectfully turn the plan into a reality.  At that time, the positive relationship she built coordinating with DPW was particularly noteworthy.
  • Because I know Maureen Richichi’s work as a school nurse,  I have knowledge of the respect Special Education teams and parents have for her.  I know they valued the expertise, data, and empathy she brought to these meetings.

In this age of COVID, I believe that it’s crucial that the Board of Health have someone with hands-on experience in education.  Maureen will be able to accurately integrate that perspective into the Board’s decision-making process.  Her deep understanding of the real-life challenges facing Public Schools can only enrich Board of Health recommendations to Bedford’s schools thus empowering the school department to make the best decisions for Bedford’s students.

Because Maureen has worked for school departments, Bedford’s Youth and Family Services, and in community health, she possesses a deep understanding of each stakeholder’s perspective and if elected, will bring this UNIQUE knowledge base to the Board of Health.  The above are 4 examples of the positive impact Maureen Richichi has already made.  In each of these cases, Maureen utilized her outstanding listening and communication skills; her comprehensive experience; her understanding and knowledge of relevant health data; her ability to prioritize and help disparate points of view reach consensus; and her deep respect for the boundaries inherent in public service.  It is for these reasons that it is my sincere hope that you will join me in voting for Maureen Richichi for a seat on Bedford’s Board of Health.

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