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February 11, 2014
Meet ICH Board Chair Claritza Abreu
By Electric Pulp
I am an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, my educational background is computer science, and for more than 20 years, I have been working on information systems, information technology and data management for government organizations mostly in the health and human services industry. I’ve held many IT leadership positions and currently serve as Director of Business Applications Services for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. My current focus is developing innovating mobile and web applications as well as continuously exploring new ways of delivering value to the organization through the use of data and technology.
I also serve as Chair and Professor of the Health Care Informatics Program at Cambridge College.
How did you become interested in public health?
One of my first jobs in the US was at the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), the local public health department of the City of Boston. For more than a decade, I was able to witness and contribute to the mission and vision of the public health department and embraced the great responsibility of assuring healthier communities in the city of Boston. I very much enjoyed supporting the direct service workforce, policy makers and researchers in fulfilling the mission of the department. I was there through many important transitions and bold policy changes that placed Boston as a leader in the country in addressing public health issues. I was there for the de-merger of the old Boston City Hospital and creation of the new BPHC. I supported the tobacco ban initiative, the low-birth weight and infant mortality reduction in the empowerment zone, the strides in poisoning prevention of the Lead program, and the great Ryan White HIV/AIDS initiative. From the BPHC, I went to work at the Secretariat of Health and Human Services where I learned much more about public health, mental and behavioral health, health care access, heath care cost and health care quality, as well as the new changes in health information exchange and health insurance exchange initiatives.
What attracted you to ICH?
I made a professional move to a different industry; however I still wanted to be connected to my passion, which is public health and health care as a whole. ICH’s mission and approach offered me the opportunity to continue to serve and contribute to the health of our communities. I have known ICH’s leadership for quite a long time and knew of their passion and commitment to the mission of the organization. That trust and synergy, both with the board and the leaders, attracted me to become part of team making the organization successful.
As Board Chair, what is your vision for ICH moving forward?
My vision is to see ICH as a sustainable and trusted organization that is an integral part of the health care delivery system, working as a convener that successfully and effectively provides expert advice and brings organizations, policy makers and the community together to work towards a common goal.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I very much enjoy community leadership activities, supporting fundraisers and community events, networking, getting to know new places, exercising and spending quality time with my family.
Anything else you would like ICH clients and partners to know about you?
I am very excited to be part of this great organization. As a concerned community member, I believe that there’re still so many impactful changes needed in the delivery system and in the overall health of our communities. I also know that ICH, with its expertise in participatory research, evaluation and in leveraging evidence-based practice and academic research can support us in making those changes. Please join me, the board and the staff in fulfilling this exciting mission.