We love this post by our friends at the Newport Health Equity Zones, so we’re sharing it here. See the original on the HEZ website. We sure do miss Mark – and we’re not alone. He built an amazing education program, and was a valuable resource to so many of our partners, including the HEZ. He’s a tough act to follow!! But rest assured, Mark is taking time from pedaling the Big Apple to help us consider the exceptional resumes that are rolling in from bike advocates and educators nationwide. Stay tuned – it shouldn’t be long before we have another exciting staff member to introduce. Meanwhile, here’s to Mr. Mark!
January 14, 2016 8:00 am
Thursday Thoughts by Jessica
Jessica is the Director of Prevention at the Women’s Resource Center, who coordinates NHEZ.
This month the Health Equity Zone Collaborative bid farewell to one of our founding members, Mark Chesterton from Bike Newport. While we are excited for the opportunities this new chapter in his life will bring, we are sad to lose his energy, insight, and thoughtfulness on our collaborative.
Mark played a key role in preparing the proposal to the Rhode Island Department of Health that resulted in the funding of the Newport Health Equity Zone project. He was at the table at the very first meeting, when we were asking the question “Can we really do this?”, supported the process with ideas, critical questions, and connections to community resources, and played a leadership role through the initial implementation of the project. He recruited and led the Transportation working group, including bringing the voice of our youngest resident consultant to the table.
One of the things that I most appreciate about Mark is that he is a deep thinker. Mark was often quiet in meetings, but I knew I could count on him for insightful, well-thought out feedback at key junctures in our process. I would often look to him and say “Mark, your face is telling me there is something that isn’t settling well about this conversation—what are we missing?” Every project needs people like Mark, who lend both passionate support and critical feedback in equal measure.
Transportation has come up throughout the assessment process as a one of the key barriers for residents attempting to access jobs, schools, healthcare, and recreational activities. We are grateful to Mark’s leadership in these early stages, which ensured that addressing this vital issues will be a major part of our plans moving forward.
Mark, we wish you the best of luck, and with the ongoing participation of Bike Newport on our collaborative, promise to keep the focus on transportation an integral part of the HEZ project moving forward!