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May 18, 2022
Upgrades Completed; Service Enhanced; New Senior Leaders

March 22, 2022 — Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center completes major upgrades. Samaritans enhances service with peer-to-peer text line. Cambridge Health Alliance names chief development officer. Behavioral Health Network creates social justice vice president position.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Completes Major Upgrades

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, a nonprofit performance space in Great Barrington, recently announced the completion of three major infrastructure projects representing about $600,000 worth of improvements.

The organization said all lights have been replaced for which National Grid covered 85% of the $400,000 project, with the rest provided by The 1916 Foundation. All original traditional tungsten, tungsten-halogen, and fluorescent units have been replaced with light-emitting diode lighting, which are expected to save $22,656 in energy savings annually.

In addition, the facility’s audio system is being upgraded, a $150,000 project supported by $110,000 raised from Mahaiwe’s 2021 gala. Also, emergency exit doors at the side of the auditorium have been completely replaced with new frames, doors, and hardware. Funds were secured through the Town of Great Barrington Community Preservation Act, with a matching grant from the Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust. Each party contributed $15,000.

The Mahaiwe theater originally opened in 1905. Since 2005, the performing arts center has hosted over 1,500 events and welcomed over half a million people through its doors.

Samaritans Enhances Service with Peer-to-Peer Text Line

Samaritans, a Boston-based, nonprofit, suicide prevention organization, last week announced the launch an anonymous, free, peer-to-peer text service designed for young people. Called Hey Sam, supported by state funding, is available for those up to age 24, and is staffed by trained volunteers of the same age group.

Samaritans said that young people who are struggling are more likely to confide in a peer than an adult, and more likely to text than call a helpline.

“Feeling accepted in their emotions may be what helps a young person seek the support they need,” said Kathy Marchi, chief executive officer and president of Samaritans. “Often, that acceptance comes more readily from peers their own age. Hey Sam offers that opportunity in a safe, anonymous, judgment-free experience for young people.”

Established 50 years ago, Samaritans today answers more than 80,000 calls, texts, and chats through its helpline annually.

Cambridge Health Alliance Names Chief Development Officer

Susie Posner-Jones

Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a nonprofit, community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities, last week announced that it has named Susie Posner-Jones as its new chief development officer. In this role, she will provide leadership for a growing development department and work on fundraising strategies to support CHA’s plan to improve population health, aid facilities development, and expand its academic and clinical programs

“As a dedicated and successful leader with an integrated focus on population health and philanthropy and an exceptional track record in major and transformational gifts, campaign management, and strategy development and deployment, Susie brings a unique skillset to CHA,” said CEO Assaad Sayah.

Posner-Jones joined CHA from the University of Vermont Health Network, where she served as the network director of philanthropy and population health. Prior to that role, she was the community impact director at the United Way of NW Vermont.

Posner-Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Vermont University and a master’s degree in health care administration with a focus on population health management from Champlain College. She holds certifications in health care management and facilitative leadership.

Behavioral Health Network Creates Social Justice Vice President Position

Chelan Brown

Behavioral Health Network (BHN), a Springfield-based nonprofit provider of behavioral health services for adults, children, and families, last week announced it created the position of vice president of social justice, and promoted Chelan Brown, who had been serving as social justice director, to fill the new slot.

In her new role, Brown will oversee social justice efforts and initiatives for the organization.

“We have grown so much as an organization over the past year and a half, and realize how much more we need to accomplish in pursuit of our vision of BHN as a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. We are so grateful for Chelan’s leadership and are thrilled to have her accept the promotion to Vice president,” said CEO Steve Winn.

Brown’s experience in the nonprofit sector includes serving as manager of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ Network Capacity Building department and as community engagement coordinator of the Springfield Food Access Project.

BHN, which posted $119,472,227 in revenue in fiscal 2020, employs 2,200 people to serve 43,700 people at 37 sites in western Massachusetts.

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