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Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates


For 40 years, I have dedicated my professional life to the empowerment of people with significant life challenges. I have witnessed upheavals in politics, social movements, and roller-coaster financial swings. Never have I navigated the leadership demands that our Health and Human Services sector is now facing in this perfect storm of a global pandemic, a recession, and racial upheaval. Leaders have entered their hour of reckoning. The social fabric of our country is demanding our response, and we had better get it right.

Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates is successfully weathering this pandemic due to the resourceful and dedicated leadership of our staff members. As the reality of COVID-19 hit, we assembled a Response Team that is still working to ensure that the complex needs of our clients, as well as our 4,600 staff members across Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are met. Our Team quickly worked to secure personal protection equipment for not only our own company, but for 124 other non-profit agencies, hospitals, and state agencies to ensure that our community stayed safe. We are continuing to shift our operations based on the daily changes in guidance from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, departments of Public Health, and our 60 different state and federal funders. A massive effort to ramp up telehealth has resulted in seamless continuity of care across our services. We joined forces with many collaborative community efforts, sharing resources and donating to assist. Our success is coming at great expense to the bottom line of Seven Hills, but we cannot waver in delivering on our mission. This is leadership.

Our direct support professionals (DSPs)—staff working on the front lines directly with people with significant cognitive, behavioral, and medical needs—have been the most heroic. Over 250 members of our team volunteered to “Stay Healthy in Place (SHIP),” which deployed staff to work 24/7 for 14 days in 76 of our supported homes to protect individuals at great sacrifice to their own families. SHIP was implemented at an enormous expense, but it was the right thing to do as our infection rate has stayed below 6% through May. I am deeply grateful to our staff who work with such passion and determined resolve on behalf of the children and adults we are privileged to serve. I am committed to continuing my personal advocacy as well as that of Seven Hills to secure the state funding to pay our DSPs a living wage—one they have earned tenfold.

All of us at Seven Hills, and our nation, now face a co-occuring test to our very being—racism. It is a time of reckoning, as we must turn to examine our internal bias and join in a social upheaval instigated by the litany of violent deaths our African-American brothers and sisters have met at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them. History will judge our response—and make no mistake—the world is watching.

Seven Hills has long defined our strength through our diverse workforce. Hailing from 58 different nations, our staff brings a richness of culture to each other and to those we support. Our Diversity & Inclusion Council ensures that the voices of all come together as one. We provide lifesaving support to the countries of our staff across the globe through our Seven Hills Global Outreach affiliate. We have produced studies on immigrants, and promote the gifts and prosperity they provide to our community. Our work will continue until each member of our community achieves the equality and respect that is our human right.

There is a saying that I believe is the hallmark of leadership: If not now, then when? If not us, then who?

Dr. David A. Jordan
Seven Hills Foundation & Affiliates