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Meet Helen R. Caulton-Harris: Commissioner, Division of Health and Human Services City of Springfield, Massachusetts

Helen Caulton-Harris is the Commissioner of the Division of Health and Human Services for the City of Springfield and the first Black woman to hold the title of Commissioner of the Division of Health and Human Services.

In that capacity she is responsible for administrative oversight of four city departments, Veterans, Elder Affairs, the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control Shelter and the Libraries. She is also responsible for the direct supervision of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services and Health Services for the Homeless, a 330 Federally Funded Health Center.

She has played a prominent role in developing policy for the health and human services needs of underserved populations on the local and national level. As a testament to her Public Policy work she has received numerous awards including the AIDS Action Award from the Action Committee and the Rebecca Lee Award from the Harvard School of Public Health. She was named Women of the Year by the Springfield Postal Service and received the Paul Revere Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association.

In 2015 she was named a member of the inaugural class of 100 Outstanding of Color from Western Mass and Conn. In 2016 the African Hall Steering Committee of the Springfield Museum Association bestowed on her the prestigious Ubora Award. In 2020 she was saluted as a Woman of Impact by Business West.

Caulton Harris was appointed to the board of Holyoke Community College (HCC) by former Governor Romney and reappointed by former Governor Deval Patrick and is the immediate past chair of HCC.  She is also the immediate past chair of AAA of Pioneer Valley. Caulton Harris held these two chairmanships simultaneously. Caulton-Harris is the first Black Woman to chair both the boards of AAA and Holyoke Community College.

In addition, Caulton Harris represents the administration of Mayor Sarno on the board of the Museum Association, and the Library Foundation. She is a past president of the Greater Springfield Chapter of the Links, Inc., a life member of the Carl L. Talbot VFW Ladies Auxiliary, and a member XI XI Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Caulton-Harris has been appointed to the Public Health and Food Policy Councils for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She has also been appointed by the Secretary of Minority Health in Washington D.C. as a member of the Region 1 Health Council and Governor Baker appointed her to the Gaming Commission Advisory Board.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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