Family & Children’s Agency (FCA) honored the Norwalk Health Department and Dr. Martha Small during their annual meeting on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
The Norwalk Health Department was presented with the William O. Murphy Family Strengthening Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations in the community whose contributions have dramatically impacted FCA’s ability to strengthen and stabilize families.
“Working with the Norwalk Health Department by providing contact tracing and community health workers has allowed FCA to provide a vital service to the community. We are proud to have been partners with the City during this difficult time, and grateful to the Norwalk Health Department for their hard work,” said Robert F. Cashel, President & CEO of Family & Children’s Agency.
The Norwalk Health Department has navigated the highly unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic by immediately establishing a communication strategy to disseminate critical information to all of Norwalk’s citizens. Their swift actions helped community organizations like FCA to develop internal policies and procedures to respond to COVID-19 and keep our employees and clients safe. As the virus spread, the Health Department added contact tracing to their long list of responsibilities as they worked to stem community spread. Once a vaccine was approved for emergency authorization, the Health Department then hosted vaccine education sessions and clinics across the community. Our Community Health Workers at FCA have been honored to work in collaboration with the Health Department, providing contact tracing, vaccine education, and assisting at vaccine clinics, including those at FCA locations.
“The Norwalk Health Department and its volunteers have worked tirelessly under immense pressure throughout this pandemic. Their expertise, experience, and judgement has been an invaluable asset to our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has helped save lives. The Health Department, FCA, and our community partners have done incredible work. I am so thankful for all they have done to keep our community safe,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.
In addition, Dr. Martha Small was presented with the Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award for her dedicated efforts as a member of FCA’s Board of Directors, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Anne C. Cary Volunteerism Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated the highest level of volunteerism on behalf of Family & Children’s Agency.
“It is a true honor to recognize Dr. Martha Small with this award. Her counsel and expertise have been invaluable since she joined the Board, and especially over the past year,” said Robert F. Cashel.
Dr. Small joined FCA’s Board of Directors in 2016, and prior to her remarkable support and guidance during COVID-19, she conducted numerous parent education workshops for young parents and has been an active participant in FCA’s efforts to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Small has used her vast knowledge and experience as a pediatrician, an Attending Physician at both Yale New Haven Hospital and St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics to guide FCA and shape policies and procedures. During these difficult months, Dr. Small has provided literally hundreds of hours of critically needed medical and public health guidance to FCA on how best to keep staff and clients safe and conducted numerous education sessions for our staff around the importance of wearing a mask and getting the vaccine.
“It is a great honor to receive this year’s Anne C. Carey Volunteerism Award. Although the last 18 months have been difficult for all of us, I feel fortunate to have been able to use my medical expertise to help guide FCA during this time. The pandemic has been, and will continue to be, a great challenge to FCA, the Fairfield County community and to all of us personally. Despite the COVID weariness that we all feel, it is up to every individual to do their part to help control this pandemic in order to keep our community, families, and children safe. I wouldespecially liketo thank Rob Cashel and Mary Ellen Hass (FCA Chief Operating Officer) for their dedication and leadership. My small contribution to the FCA team pales in comparison with the grace and kindness that Rob and Mary Ellen have shown me in return,” said Dr. Martha Small.