READING — Chief David Clark is pleased to announce that Erica McNamara, Director of the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support, has been selected as a finalist for the Peter J. Gomes Service Award.
The award, given annually by Congressman Seth Moulton, recognizes a member of Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District who exemplifies the qualities of integrity, compassion and unwavering commitment to their community— all foundational precepts of Moulton’s late mentor, Rev. Peter J. Gomes.
McNamara is one of five finalists. The chosen honoree will be announced on Friday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. at Old Town Hall in Salem, 32 Derby Square, Salem.
“This nomination is humbling, and it is a true honor to be recognized among such passionate leaders in their respective fields,” McNamara said.
McNamara joined the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support at the Reading Police Department in 2008. Since then, she has made it her mission toprovide education, support and advocacy to address substance use disorder and mental health awareness in the community.
She has worked to expand the coalition over the past several years through the introduction of a Mental Health Clinician, Outreach Coordinator and Crisis Intervention Team.
“Congratulations to Erica for being chosen as a finalist for this esteemed award,” Chief Clark said. “For the past 14 years, she has shown a deep commitment to the wellbeing of the Reading community. She continually works toward the betterment of the coalition and always jumps at opportunities to expand it so that we can best serve our community. She is so deserving of this honor.”
McNamara is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor for the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. She has taught Mental Health First Aid in Reading, reaching more than 1,000 adults and teens with this important mental health literacy program.
Prior to joining the coalition, she served the Lowell Community Health Center for 13 years.
Rev. Gomes was a Christian minister who served for nearly 40 years in the Memorial Church of Harvard University, a space erected to honor the Harvard public servants who died in World War I.
As a preacher, teacher, author, and leader, he influenced many with his ready wit and wisdom, as well as his commitment to service, whether to his immediate community, in support of those in the armed forces, or to universal humanitarian causes.
About The Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support
The Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support, formerly known as RCASA, was established in 2006 in Reading. The coalition started as a town, police, school and community initiative focused on improving collaboration and reducing substance use disorder. Today, the coalition funded under the Reading Police Department, offers programs and services that focus on substance use prevention and mental health promotion. Visit us at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/community/readingcoalition/. Follow us on Instagram @rcps_rpd, like us on Facebook @reading coalition and follow us on Twitter @rcoalition4prev.