AccessHealth MA is concerned about the increasing number of Monkeypox virus (MPV) cases in MA and the stigma surrounding it. Get the facts! We urge you to learn the symptoms of MPV and how to protect yourself.

Learn More

AccessHealth MA is concerned about the increasing number of Monkeypox virus (MPV) cases in MA and the stigma surrounding it. Get the facts! We urge you to learn the symptoms of MPV and how to protect yourself.

Learn More

Summer Party on Boston Harbor

Summer Party on Boston Harbor 2022

Honoring Dr. Cal Cohen Founder’s Awardee – Michelle Smith, CEO of AIDS Project Worcester

On Saturday, August 6, AccessHealth MA will present The Dr. Cal Cohen Founder’s Award to Michelle Smith, CEO of AIDS Project Worcester.

The Dr. Cal Cohen Founder’s Award recognizes an individual’s commitment to the community AccessHealth MA serves — those living with HIV. Michelle’s commitment to those living with HIV spans over 25 years.

Ms. Smith starting at AIDS Project Worcester in 1994 as a case manager. She has been the CEO for the last 10 years.

A graduate of College of the Holy Cross, Smith has been at the forefront of providing accessibility to non-medical services for those living with the HIV virus, along with battling its harmful stigma.

AIDS Project Worcester’s mission statement is centralized around three core values: education, advocacy, and service. These core values are achieved through comprehensive client service programs, prevention, and education services with the staff being strong advocates for people living with HIV. Services extend to those who are at risk for HIV disease as well as those who are living with HIV/AIDS

At AIDS Project Worcester, Smith’s aim is to provide comprehensive needs assessment and care. Individuals who test positive for HIV are not just connected to medical care, although that it is crucial, but also assessed to determine whether their basic needs are fulfilled.

“We have to ensure they have enough food; they can make it to their appointments, have mental health support, that their housing is safe and stable,” Smith said. “To make sure they have wraparound care because when you’ve got a lot of things on your mind, it definitely affects your health and well-being.”

What has kept her going, Smith said, is the love and pride she takes in her work for the community, and a chance to move the needle.

“I feel like my job here is not yet done. This is the organization I was meant to be at, and I am grateful for it,” Smith said. “I hope we continue to be a beacon in the community, helping keep people healthy and safe.”

Michelle Smith, CEO AIDS Project Worchester

I’m grateful to have spent more than half my life working with the HIV and public health communities. I sincerely hope that I have had the same impact on the incredible and courageous people that we serve as they have had on me. I am humbled and honored

Michelle Smith, CEO of AIDS Project Worcester

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