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State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli gives Lee Police Chief Jeffrey Roosa a certificate honoring him as an 'unsung hero.'

Lee Police Chief Named First Fourth Berkshire Unsung Hero

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LEE, Mass. — Chief Jeffrey Roosa of the Lee Police Department was named the first recipient of the Fourth Berkshire Unsung Hero Award.

The award was launched by state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli in December 2018. It aims to recognize people, groups, and organizations who have positively contributed to the Berkshire community.

"Chief Roosa exemplifies what it means to be an unsung hero," Pignatelli said. "His humbled, steadfast service to law enforcement in the Berkshires for the past two decades has been driven by his sole desire to protect our community. This recognition is one way to say thank you for his service to our community."

Inspired to become a police officer after being struck by a drunk driver more than 30 years ago, Roosa began his career in law enforcement with the Sheffield Police Department in 1996. He joined the Lee Police Department in 2001 and was appointed chief of the department in 2013.

"Jeff if a remarkable guy who has earned the respect of our community and the men and women who work for him," said Sgt. Craig Desantis of the Lee Police Department. "There are so many positive things Jeff has been a part of and contributed to the Berkshires, but the most important thing to him, is his family, which he has completely earned the respect of."

The award aims to "change the conversation about the Berkshires from focusing on the negative to highlighting all of the positive that goes on in our community," Pignatelli said.

"As soon as we came up with this idea, I knew I wanted to give it to Jeff. There are a lot of people who humbly contribute to the Berkshires for no reason other than kindness, and he is a prime example of that," he said.

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CHP Physician Leads Resolution Declaring Health Care 'Basic Human Right'

LEE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Medical Society has adopted a resolution first introduced in 2017 by Dr. Michael Kaplan, who works at CHP Lee Family Practice and is a longtime advocate for health care justice.

The resolution reads: "The Massachusetts Medical Society asserts that enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, in all its dimensions, including health care, is a basic human right. The provision of health care services, as well as optimizing the social determinants of health is an ethical obligation of a civilized society.

Dr. Kaplan is a family medicine physician who is also certified in geriatric medicine. His commitment to health care advocacy is evident through his work at CHP and in his roles as an officer of the Berkshire District Chapter of the Massachusetts Medical Society and as a member of the MMS Legislative Committee. He is also vice chair of the Single Payer Member Interest Group of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The MMS is an influential organization representing 25,000 Massachusetts physicians and students and bringing a strong voice to matters that have an impact on patients and health care providers. Its resolution reflects similar positions of the AAFP, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, and the Constitutions of many nations that provide universal health care to their citizens.

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