TEDxBoston 2010

Bill Walczak

What We Can Learn From Codman Square

How a new model for urban health care and education can change a culture of despair into a community of opportunity.

Video

Biography

Bill is most associated with the Codman Square Health Center, a multi service center which he co founded in the 1970s. He served as CEO from 1979 through February 2011. The Health Center serves over 20,000 individuals, has over 130,000 annual visits, with 300 employees and a budget of $20 million. Bill is also founding president of Codman Academy Charter School, a high school located on the health center campus. It is the only such “school in a health center” in the USA.  In addition, he is a co-founder and former Co-CEO of DotWell, a partnership with the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, which has merged management and services to save money, build capacity and make a deeper impact on the community. This effort is considered a model of a nonprofit collaboration which uses the medical system as a platform for community regeneration. In this capacity, Bill also works on international programs in South Africa, Northern Ireland and Vietnam.

Bill is the founding president of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Massachusetts’ statewide association for nonprofits. He is current co-chairman of the Boston Conference of Community Health Centers and president of the board of STRIVE, a job training center in Dorchester. Bill has also been past president of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council and Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association (both in Dorchester) and just stepped down as President of the UMass/Boston Alumni Association. He was founding President of Boston HealthNet, a network of 15 community health centers with Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. He is an overseer of Boston Medical Center, on the Board of Visitors of the University of Massachusetts/Boston, and is on the boards of Global Primary Care, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, and Associated Grant Makers (AGM). He serves on Advisory Board of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University and the Mayor’s Task Force on Primary Care Access in Boston. He is a member of the Boston Leaders for Education coalition. He served on Gov. Deval Patrick’s Health Care Transition Committee and was on the New England Steering Committee and Health Care Committee for the Barack Obama presidential campaign. He lectures at numerous universities and at conferences regarding community development and the role of health care institutions in it.

Bill has received a number of awards and honors in recognition of his service to the community of Dorchester, including The Public Health Award for Outstanding Service to the Community from the Harvard School of Public Health (1994), Health Center Director of the Year from the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (1993), the Robert Quinn Award for Outstanding Community Leadership from the University of Massachusetts- Boston (2008), a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Boston Business Journal (2010) and an Outstanding Leadership in Promoting and Protecting the Health of the Residents of the Commonwealth award from the Massachusetts Health Council (2010). He is a member of the Barr (Foundation) Fellowship class of 2007. He lives in Dorchester with his wife Linda and has two grown children.