In February, 2013 La Alianza Hispana’s Board of Directors Hired Tristram Blake to serve as the Interim Director, replacing Apolo Catala who graciously entered the position in September to help the agency with its transition when Janet Collazo retired.
Tristram’s three areas of focus for the next four months:
Conduct a feasibility study as to the organization’s current operations and programming to determine financial capacity for stabilization and growth.
Initiate plans for short-term funding to support administrative functions.
Search for a permanent Executive Director to make recommendations to the Board
Tristram Blake spent 38 years as the executive director of the South End Community Health Center in Boston. In 1970 when he first joined the recently founded center, it was just a small pediatric clinic run out of the basement of a municipal building at the corner of Shawmut Avenue and West Brookline Street in the South End. The SECHC has grown impressively at its beautifully constructed space on Washington Street. Today the center handles 65,000 patient visits a year, offering services in adult medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, mental health, dental care, eye care and, of course, pediatrics. “In the beginning, we didn't go into anything whole hog," Blake said. "We would start with a session or two of pediatrics and when those filled up we would add another session. As kids were coming in and mothers were coming in, we thought, why not start providing care for the mothers? Then, what about fathers? Expansion was never just for expansion's sake -- it was always to meet the needs of the community."
Today the SECHC is the largest provider of comprehensive care to Boston's Latino population. Since its inception in 1969, it has maintained its position as an independently run, community-owned and operated non-profit health center. In addition to a number of awards and accolades over the years, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has called the center a "critically important resource for some of our city's most vulnerable residents." 1
La Alianza Hispana welcomes Mr. Blake and appreciates what an ambitious task he has to quickly assess this organization and come up with a plan for its sustainability.
1 Excerpted from “The Insider”, Boston University School of Public Health. Submitted by Michelle Salzman