Tom Martorelli’s For People, Not For Profit Showcases the Evolution of Community and LGBT Health Care Through 40 Years of Fenway Health’s History

By September 28, 2012Community, Fenway News

Fenway Health turned 40 in 2011 and as part of efforts to mark that occasion and document the organization’s history, former Fenway Board of Director’s Chair Thomas Martorelli researched and wrote For People, Not For Profit: A History of Fenway Health’s First Forty Years.  Published by Authorhouse, the book is currently available for purchase both in print and as an ebook onAmazon.comBarnesandNoble.com, as well as in Apple’s iBook’s bookstore.

Based on research, interviews with over thirty historic and current Fenway leaders, and his own experiences on the health center’s Board of Directors in the 1970s, this real-life history covers the evolution of Fenway Health, the community health center movement, our community’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the emerging field of LGBT health.  Martorelli spent nearly two years interviewing people from across Fenway’s forty year history, digging through our archives and putting pen to paper to produce a book chock full of  photos and personal reflections.

The appendix is filled with historical documents, including the “Preliminary Proposal for a Fenway Health Centre” in 1971 and Dr. Kenneth Mayer’s 1980 “Proposal for Venereal Disease Research” that laid the foundations for what is now The Fenway Institute.  A poster on the walls of Fenway’s 1970s and 80s offices in the basement of 16 Haviland Street, “Health Care for People, not for Profit,” provided the inspiration for the title of Martorelli’s book.

As celebrated author Rita Mae Brown writes in her foreword to the book, “For People, Not for Profit brings to life those forty years. Fenway Health started as a dream, a castle in the air and then people put the foundation under it. This book doesn’t shy away from the painful decisions, the different personalities, the politics and the money struggles. I don’t want to give any of that history away but it can serve as a primer for organizers today.”

Martorelli himself notes, “It’s remarkable how much of Fenway’s forty-year history rings true today. Small groups of people can unite to make a big difference. Diligent research, whether it’s medical or political, is the foundation for successful action. And health care is a fundamental human right. Fenway reminds us of the value of good ideas and good causes, and about the contributions that come from good people with stamina over time. It’s an inspirational story.”

“Tom tells Fenway’s story through the words and remembrances of the people who founded, staffed, and led the organization through our first forty years.  When coupled with the history of the LGBT rights and community health center movements that Tom also writes about, the result is an engaging snapshot of individual, organization and community politics, advocacy and change,” said Philip A. Finch, Fenway Health’s Vice President of Communications.

If you would like to receive a review copy of For People, Not For Profit or would like to interview the author or anyone else involved in producing the book, please contact Christopher Viveiros at cviveiros@fenwayhealth.org or 617.927.6342 (desk) / 617.721.7494 (cell).

A resident of Winthrop, Massachusetts, Tom has spent most of his career in the management and marketing of community organizations. He was most recently the chief marketing officer of the Harvard Club of Boston, and was the chief financial officer for the Appalachian Mountain Club, one of the country’s original environmental groups. His commitment to community health care includes his work with Fenway Health and other organizations like Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a nonprofit serving homeless youth, and the American Heart Association. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, Tom is currently Director of Marketing, Planning, and Development at Outer Cape Health Services in Wellfleet, MA.

For more than forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population.  The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless or living on the streets; struggling with substance use or abuse; sex workers; or living with HIV/AIDS.

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