Marty Lynch, PhD, Executive Director and CEO of LifeLong Medical Care for the past 38 years, was recently presented with 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).
Lynch received the national award for “excellence and commitment to America’s Health Centers and the people they service.” NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden presented the award to Lynch at the 2019 Community Health Institute and Expo.
“I’m so very honored to receive this award and to have had the opportunity to contribute to the health of the communities served by health centers,” said Lynch.
Saying he had one of the “luckiest jobs ever,” Lynch noted that through collaboration with the Alameda Health Consortium and the California Primary Care Association, LifeLong Medical Care has been able to accomplish “amazing things together” to improve the health of their communities.
Lynch spent most of his life working with aging populations and the homeless. “When I started at LifeLong, the elderly were 5% to 6% of the community health center population. Now it’s 10%,” he said. Nationwide, that translates into nearly 3 million low-income older people who get excellent health care in the community health center system.
“I’m so proud of us for doing that,” he said.
Community health centers continue to face challenges, among them immigrant health, women’s health, and an epidemic of homelessness. But the biggest threat of all, he said, is climate change. Air pollution, mostly caused by carbon pollutants, aggravate a range of ailments including everything from heart attacks to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, stroke, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, and pneumonia. And low-income communities served by health centers will suffer the greatest health consequences, not only from unhealthy air, but also from searing heat, increased wildfires, high winds, and flooding that come with climate change.
Lynch got his start at the Over 60 Health Center, which later became LifeLong Medical Care. He co-founded the Healthy Aging Subcommittee of the National Association of Community Health Centers and is past chair of the California Primary Care Association. He was recently appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the California Master Plan on Aging Advisory Committee. Lynch also serves on the boards of the Oakland PACE health plan for disabled elders and the Alameda Alliance for Health Plan that serves Medi-Cal recipients.
Lynch received his Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
In addition to health administration, Lynch is involved in public policy and research activities related to health access for the uninsured, long-term care models, chronic care, and financing care for disabled populations. Lynch also is a Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.
VIDEO (Marty starts @ 8:20)