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Dr. Michael Kaplan, second from right, with U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy (center), and other healthcare colleagues during a recent professional gathering of the American Academy of Family Physicians in Washington, D.C.

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

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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.

"The resolution is also a strong representation of the values and mission of Community Health Programs," said Lia Spiliotes, CEO of Community Health Programs, which provides medical and dental care and other services to more than 32,000 Berkshire region residents. "We thank and congratulate Dr. Kaplan for his advocacy, his commitment to health care access, and to the patients of CHP. We look forward to supporting the MMS effort to incorporate this resolution into its work on behalf of patients and physicians in Massachusetts."


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Lee Middle and High School Teacher Wins $10,000 Kapteyn Prize

LEE, Mass. — Jane McEvoy, an English teacher at Lee Middle and High School has been awarded the 11th annual James C. Kapteyn Prize for excellence in teaching. She will receive a $10,000 award for study or travel to enrich her teaching, and the school will receive a $2,000 grant in her name.

McEvoy joined the faculty at Lee High in 2010. She primarily teaches junior-year English classes, including a college-level advanced writing course, and serves as the chairperson of the English Department. She founded the school's Social Justice Club to encourage compassionate conversations about topics such as equality, diversity and politics. The club has become the district's largest nonathletic co-curricular activity, and its members have hosted events ranging from an equality fair to a schoolwide mock election.

Colleagues and students emphasize that McEvoy is a dedicated, caring educator whose support of every student goes beyond the classroom. They describe her as a leader and mentor who inspires students to succeed long after graduation.

"Jane was more than just a teacher to me. She was an educator, a friend and a support system," wrote Samantha Reynolds, a member of the class of 2015.

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