Today, Stephanie Voltaire, MPH, is an ABCD Community Hero – a long road traveled from when she and her family first immigrated to the United States and received services from ABCD to help with their transition while living in Mattapan.
As community impact director with the American Heart Association (AHA), Stephanie partners with community-based organizations, nonprofits, and health centers to implement initiatives around heart disease, food security and community response. Because Mattapan has one of the highest hypertension rates in Greater Boston, she, along with AHA partner Heart of a Giant, established a blood pressure screening and referral program during the monthly Senior Brown Bag at ABCD’s Mattapan Neighborhood Service Center that provides seniors with healthy food options.
She describes a moment that made her work especially worthwhile. “On the first day of the program, I interacted with a client who mainly speaks Haitian Creole,” Stephanie said. “As a Haitian-American, I was able to speak with the client in her primary language. She loved that, and said that she doesn’t check her blood pressure at home, and was excited and grateful to receive the service at ABCD, aside from the doctor's office. In that moment, it was a great assurance that this initiative is being well received and is needed.”
Stephanie encourages others to volunteer and says of being nominated as a Community Hero, “What an honor! I was not expecting this at all. I am extremely humbled and appreciative of this award.”