BOSTON - Thursday, March 10, 2016 - The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has announced the selection of two experienced health officials who will assume top leadership roles at the agency. Rita Nieves, RN, MPH, LICSW, has been named Deputy Director and Grace Connolly, JD, has been named Director of Administration and Finance.
Nieves has over 22 years of experience at BPHC. She began her service in 1994 as director of the tuberculosis program. Nieves later directed the Division of Addictions Treatment Services for Women and Families. In 2003, Rita was appointed as Director of BPHC's Addictions, Prevention, Treatment, Recovery Support Services bureau. She manages a budget of approximately $9M and oversees a multi-disciplinary team of 85 full-time staff.
Nieves has been recognized as an exemplary public servant and leader in the field of substance abuse treatment and prevention, receiving awards including the Henry L. Shattuck Public Service Award and the Outstanding Contributions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services Award from the national Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse award. Nieves also has direct care experience as a nurse in both Boston and Puerto Rico and is also a licensed clinical social worker.
"I am confident that Rita will be a valuable asset to Commission and the city as a whole as she takes on this role," said Valdes Lupi. "Addictions prevention and treatment is a top priority both for Mayor Walsh and myself and Rita's leadership role here will help to strengthen our focus on this issue."
Grace Connolly will be returning to the Commission to lead its Administration and Finance team after serving most recently as the Senior Director of Grants and Contracts for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Earlier in her career, Connolly spent seven years in a number of senior budget roles at the BPHC, providing day-to-day fiscal and administrative oversight for the Substance Abuse Services Bureau, Communicable Disease Program, Office of Public Health Preparedness, Homeless Services and also discrete areas within the BPHC involving more than sixty cost centers inclusive of federal, state, foundation and third party billing sources.
Connolly then gained significant experience in state government, serving six years at Massachusetts State Department of Public Health as a Director of Administration and Finance where she was responsible for fiscal planning and management, grant compliance, budgeting, contracts and purchasing and staff supervision. In this role, Connolly led assessments of the budget and finance systems, evaluating staff competencies, providing risk management and overall direction to ensure that we were in maximizing compliance with state and federal finance rules.
While at ASTHO, Connolly led the development and execution of internal controls, annual budgeting and reporting and system procurement and implementation.
Connolly has a JD and is licensed to practice in CA. In a prior life worked as a senior litigator for a firm in San Francisco.
"I am excited to share these two leadership hiring announcements," said Valdes Lupi "I hope my colleagues will all join me in congratulating Grace and Rita on their new roles."
Monica Valdes Lupi, JD, MPH, took the helm as BPHC's executive director on February 1st of this year following her appointment by Boston's Board of Health.