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Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan Earns Massachusetts Nurses Association Human Needs Service Award

DANVERS, Mass. – Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan was honored recently by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) for his extensive work creating a safer and more just community for residents of Franklin and Hampshire counties.

Sullivan, a longtime attorney and Northwestern DA since 2011, was given the Human Needs Services Award at MNA Convention 2016 in Danvers in recognition of “outstanding services based on human need, with respect for human dignity, unrestricted by consideration of nationality, race, creed, color or status.”

“David Sullivan has spent his life helping others and engaging in community service,” said Andrea Fox, RN, an Associate Director in the MNA Division of Labor Action who works with nurses in Western Massachusetts and has known Sullivan for many years. “Sullivan not only supports front-line workers and health care professionals like nurses, he also takes action above and beyond his duties as a DA to improve the lives of patients and those with substance abuse problems.”

Pictured: Top: Andrea Fox, David Sullivan and Diane Scherrer. Bottom: Sullivan speaks to nurses on Thursday, Oct. 13 at MNA Convention 2016 with RN Susan Wright Thomas looking on.

Sullivan has shown respect for human dignity, unrestricted by race, creed, color, nationality and status by creating and supporting programs in his community that reach across barriers from the most vulnerable to those with means. A few examples of his work include:

  • A Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault unit that prioritizes high risk domestic violence offenders
  • A Community Outreach and Education Unit that provides educational trainings to strengthen the community and prevent crime
  • Co-founded and co-chairs the Hampshire HOPE (Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education Coalition) and the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and North Quabbin
  • A Safe School Response Team aimed at preventing and promptly addressing acts of bullying and violence that impacts students
  • Co-Founded the Veterans Justice Partnership between community and criminal justice partners to coordinate and find alternatives to incarceration for local veterans
  • Spearheaded trainings for first responders in the use of the opioid overdose-reversing drug Narcan; while unintentional opioid related deaths rose 8 percent statewide in 2014-2015, the single exception to this trend was in Hampshire County, where deaths declined

“Sullivan is highly visible in the community, speaking out for patients with addiction, on LGBT issues and for the rights of every member of his community,” said Diane Scherrer, an associate director with the MNA Division of Legislative & Government Affairs. “His commitment to human dignity is clear and unwavering.”

The MNA’s Human Needs Services Award was also given this year to Learn to Cope founder Joanne Peterson and the Nurses Care for Haitian Children organization.

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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.