I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Fall season wherever you are. In Boston, we have had some great cool, crisp days and the promise of winter is feeling like it’s right around the corner. Our direct-entry students are largely back on campus, which is a welcome sight for me as well as the Navy Yard community as I have heard from several of our neighbors saying that they are so happy to see students in the neighborhood.  

Their contribution to the Charlestown community were felt this year in our first in-person Community IMPACT Day in three years. More than 500 students fanned out into the Charlestown community on September 9 to make an impact with such activities as running exercise sessions at Harvard-Kent Elementary School, making blankets with seniors at the John F. Kennedy Family Service Center, and working with patients and service dogs at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.  It was so heartwarming to know that our service to the community that was missed over the pandemic is valued by the community we are located in.  

We started the semester welcoming our new Provost, Dr. Reamer Bushardt to the IHP. Reamer officially started with us in August but was on campus the early part of September when he hit the ground running and has not stopped since. He has already added so much to our community and I look forward to his continued contributions in the years ahead.   

In the last two months, we also had some great in-person events that evoked feeling of years past and brought us together with some celebrations, some competition, and just some community time that felt so good. In September, we hosted a very successful fundraiser that generated over $300,000 for student scholarships. Trustee Chair Dr. Jeanette Ives Erickson and Mass General President Dr. David Brown had a fireside chat about the shortage of healthcare workers and how important the IHP is to create the workforce pipeline of the future.  

We also held our Fall Convocation in September where several faculty were honored for their exceptional contributions to the education of our students. In October, we hosted our Ether Day celebration, honoring faculty and staff for their years of contribution to the IHP. One of our faculty members, Dr. Patrice Nicholas, was honored for 45 years of combined service at the IHP and Mass General Brigham, and her countless contributions to the IHP. We also hosted our first ever cornhole tournament when 10 teams competed for the coveted prize of the first IHP Cornhole Trophy in a spirited event with their colleagues watching and cheering them on. The winners this year were Josh Merson and Steve Ciesielski, but they are already being challenged to a rematch from many of the other teams. I am looking forward to next year’s tournament to see if our winners can defend their title. 

In addition to looking back at the past two months, I want to encourage you to look to the future. In just a week on November 8, we will be given the opportunity to participate in one of the most important aspects of our democracy. Voting is both our right and responsibility and when we don’t participate or participate only peripherally, we do damage to our freedoms as Americans. For the last several months, I have been fully immersed in the election races, both local and national, in an attempt to fully understand the issues, the candidate’s stands on the issues important to me, and how they will govern. Critically important to our future is the Massachusetts governor’s race between Maura Healey and Geoff Diehl, as well as several important ballot questions.  

I am not going to make a partisan pitch here because the IHP is a place where we support everyone’s right to their political opinion and encourage thoughtful and respectful discourse. What I ask is that none of us sit on the sidelines. Your vote is your voice on the future of our state and our nation. Learn the issues. Understand how they affect you. Explore the candidates’ history and current opinions on these issues and please, please, please, vote on Election Day.