Friday, October 8, 2010

Final Trails and Sails Results, North Shore Medical Meeting, Presentation by Essex County Sheriff, SJP Planned Giving and North Shore Chamber Meeting


Essex Heritage Trails and Sails Final Results

Over the last several weeks we have filled this space with information on Trails and Sails the premier annual fall event offered by Essex Heritage. If you would bear with me one last time in 2010 we want to be able to report that our best estimates are that 4000 people in the region participated this year. The printed guide that was created was well received and we look forward to continuing improvements and participation next year. The final word is to thank all of our partners who opened their doors and welcomed the residents of the region and many visitors that joined us over the six-day length of the event. We are pleased that you participated and hope that you are all looking forward to a bigger and better 2011 Trails and Sails.

North Shore Medical Center Meeting

Earlier this week, I participated in a meeting in Peabody that was organized by the North Shore Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners Health Care. The meeting was the largest of these annual meetings that I have attended. I was there as a member of the NSMC Board of Overseers and there were also Board Trustees, hospital staff and many of the donors who have provided support to the hospital over the years. The NSMC Board Chair, Rich Holbrook, the Chairman of Eastern bank moderated the meeting, and he was assisted by the Chair of the Board of overseers, former Eastern Bank Chairman Stan Murkowski who together have provided wonderful support to this important regional resource. Eastern Bank has long been associated with the hospital that maintains major campuses in Salem Lynn and now Danvers. The presentation focused on the achievements of the last year, and the first anniversary of the new facility on Endicott Street in Danvers that has exceeded all of the expectations of the Partners leadership team. Reports on major improvements to both the Salem and Lynn campuses were noted, with particular attention to a major new 40-bed state of the art intensive care unit in Salem. An overview of the twentieth anniversary NSMC Cancer walk was provided and it was noted that the walk has raised twenty million towards cancer care in this region. The keynote speakers for the evening were from the operating arms of Partners, with presentations provided by Dr. Thomas lee, of Partners Community Health Care and Robert Norton the CEO of NSMC. They provided overviews of how Partners Health Care are continuing to seek better systems to continue to improve the medical services provided in this region always with the thought of providing the best medical care possible to the patient. The only negative note of the evening was a continuing concern that reimbursements from Medicare and other insurance carriers are continuing to lag behind then costs associated with medical services and that trend needs to reverse or the entire medical community could be in some difficulty. The presentations were all to the point and as always, I came away from the meeting with more medical knowledge that I had when I arrived at the event.

Essex County Sheriff Presents Information

Every couple of years, the Salem Rotary schedules Sheriff Frank Cousins as a luncheon speaker, and the Sheriff visited with the Salem club on Tuesday of this week. It is evident from his remarks and the statistics that he provided that the Essex County Correctional facility in Middleton and his other facilities in Salisbury and Lawrence continue to show progress when compared to their peers. At the present time there are about 1200 inmates in the Middleton facility and another 500 or 600 additional men and woman at the farm in Lawrence and a facility just for woman in Salisbury. Each year the system releases about 1250 former inmates back into society and in recent years two of out of every three do not return and start to live a more productive life. The average stay of an inmate in Essex County is only seven or so months so in a very short period of time the officials at these facilities need to move very quickly to change habits. GED certificates and other educational experiences are available, and this process seems to have an impact on future behavior. Work release programs are also available and every inmate at the Lawrence Farm needs to perform community service to pay in some way for their actions in the past. That service in many cases comes as cleanup crews on the county highways, but in some cases jobs are found. Two current projects that the Sheriff spoke about was a move to establish 24 to 36 cells in Middleton for Woman so that the current program to ship all female prisoners to Framingham State prison can be changed. This will certainly make visitation and legal services much more accessible. The local officials are also looking at arraignments and bail hearings to be accomplished electrically that would make the transport of prisoners’ between the jail and court facilities in Salem and Lawrence safer for the public.

St John’s Prep Planned Giving Efforts

One of my most pleasant current tasks is to co-chair a Planned Giving Committee at St. John’s Prep. The committee that includes Alumni from several different decades and a couple of very enthusiastic parents who currently have sons who attend the school meets a couple of times a year and the meetings are always most lively. At this months meeting we were provided an update on the current activities at the school by Principal Dr, Edward Hardiman The mission of the group is to assist the leadership of the Advancement Office at the Prep to develop strategies to encourage alumni from the Danvers school to make commitments to the school as they work through their estate planning. The efforts to date has been most encouraging and a number of wonderful gifts have been made to help the school as they continue to try to keep the school affordable for students from numerous economic conditions. Each meeting produces a number of ideas to help move this effort forward and the committee is always pleased to see that the concepts advanced twice each year are turned into actions to interest more alumni to consider a gift to the program. If any readers of this BLOG have a Prep connection and desire more information about the many opportunities offered in this program, contact Ms Debra Marino at

NSCC Breakfast Meeting in Danvers

Earlier this week, as the guest of Salem Five Bank, I attended the monthly breakfast meeting of the North Shore Chamber. The meeting featured presentations by both Governor Deval Patrick and Congressman John Tierney. Clearly in this election season, the presentations focused on the accomplishments of both elected officials. This is a most difficult time for Congressman Tierney with the current legal issues that have been raised concerning his wife’s activities caring for the family of a brother who has not been in this region for awhile. As someone who has had numerous interactions with Congressman Tierney over the last several yeas, I personally hope that as Election Day nears the voters in this region will remember all of the hard work and conscientious efforts expended for the region by the current Congressman will be remembered.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thank You. Tom Leonard

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