Framingham Residents Receive Health Champion Awards at Whittier Street Men's Health Summit

Edward Owens, President and CEO of Owens Movers, and Dr. Philip Smith, a Podiatrist at Whittier Street Health Center, both of Framingham, will be honored with Health Champions Awards on Saturday, June 30, 2012, at Whittier Street Health Center’s Men’s Health Summit.


Owens and Dr. Smith are being honored for their commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and are two of ten recipients to receive the accolade this year. The Summit, “Take Charge: Building Healthier Minds, Bodies and Spirits,” was established 11 years ago with the goal to raise awareness among men that their physical, mental and spiritual health makes a direct contribution to stronger connections to their families and community.  


“I am honored to present Whittier Street’s Health Champion Award to 10 recipients this year, each who have demonstrated exemplary commitment towards improving both the physical and mental wellness for our community members,” said Frederica Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “Our goal is to continue to raise the awareness of how important it is for the men to take care of their health, maintain healthy lifestyles and be positive role models.”


Edward Owens has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Owens Companies for 30 years. His father, Henry F. Owens, Jr., began Owens Movers with a two-wheel cart that helped him carry the luggage belonging to immigrants from the Boston docks to North Cambridge. Eighty-five years later, Owens Movers, is the oldest minority business in New England, specializing in commercial moving.


Owens served on the Board of Trustees of Northeastern University for 25 years and presently serves on the board of Trustees of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. In 2006, Owens was honored by the Museum of Afro-American History and was the recipient of the Living Legends Award. He is a graduate of Northeastern University, which is where he met Maureen, his wife of 39 years. They now have three grown children and two grandchildren.


Dr. Smith has been a practicing Podiatrist in the Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury areas for the past 42 years. He has been an active member in the American Podiatric Medical Association, the Mass Podiatric Medical Association and is a chartered life member of the National Podiatric Medical Association. Dr. Smith has been the only full time African American podiatrist in the state of Massachusetts for 30 years.


Through his many positions over the years in the community, Dr. Smith has become a role model to many young men looking to enter the medical field. He is a graduate of the Roslin Franklin Medical School graduating from the William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. A deacon at his local church, Dr. Smith is married with three grown children and has seven grandchildren.



More than 300 people are expected to attend the summit, which is free and open to the public. New England Patriots Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett will be the keynote speaker for the annual Men’s Health Summit. Tippett was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008, culminating a stellar 12-year career with the Patriots.


The Summit will include a health fair, health screenings (including high blood pressure, glaucoma, and prostate cancer), live entertainment and games, and a formal program that includes an awards ceremony, the keynote and a Q&A panel discussion with health professionals.


In addition to Owens and Dr. Smith, eight other individuals will be honored with the Health Champions Award including: Rick Anderson, Program Director, WILD Radio; ; Felix Arroyo, City at Large Councilor; Donald Cormier, Headmaster, Catholic Memorial Middle School; Mary Concannon, Guidance Counselor and Educator, Catholic Memorial Middle School; Greg Janey, President and CEO, Janey Construction Management and Consulting, Inc.; Dr. Christopher Lathan, Head of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Community Cancer Clinic at Whittier Street Health Center; Vernon Nelson, Math Educator, Milton High School, and Steven Tompkins, Chief – External Affairs at Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.


An integral part of the summit is providing a general understanding of men’s health and educating men on the importance of getting screened for diseases for which they may be at risk.


The Summit takes place Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Whittier Street Health Center, 1290 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA.  For more information, call 617-989-3028 or visit: www.wshc.org.  Tippett’s keynote speech begins at noon.


About Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier Street Health Center (www.wshc.org) is a Joint Commission accredited, private, non-profit, independently licensed community health center dedicated to providing high quality, reliable and accessible primary health care and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. Serving more than 19,000 clients with approximately 70,000 clinic visits and 20,000 community outreach visits annually, Whittier has a patient base which is ethnically and racially diverse and includes significant numbers of individuals from Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and Greater Boston.  Whittier provides a comprehensive array of 40 healthcare programs and services designed to meet the primary health care, behavioral health, and social needs of the community. 


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