Barbara Nealon named ‘Unsung Heroine’ 

  • Nealon at the Statehouse in Boston. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Barbara Nealon CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published: 7/9/2018 11:01:19 PM

GARDNER — Barbara Nealon was one of 130 honorees named ‘Unsung Heroines’ by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Nealon was one of two honorees representing the city of Fitchburg at the Statehouse.

Each year, the commission partners with state legislators to identify women who make outstanding contributions to their organizations and communities. Each legislator is encouraged to submit one woman from their constituency as a means of recognizing their invaluable, yet perhaps, unnoted community contributions.

The commission uses this annual award to highlight women “who don’t always make the news, but truly make the difference.” Honorees use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities and towns. They are mentors, volunteers and innovators who do what needs to be done, without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together, and every community has them.

Nealon began her career at Heywood Hospital in 1983 as a medical social worker, then, assumed the role of director of social services in 1991. Currently, she serves as the director of social and multicultural services for both Athol and Heywood Hospitals, and is the co-leader of the Montachusett Suicide Prevention Task Force.

She is also on the board for the Community Health Network Area of North Central Massachusetts, the executive board of Three Pyramids/North Central Massachusetts Minority Coalition, and she co-leads the Health Equity Collaborative Committee.



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