News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, December 12, 2013
Healthy Peninsula loses executive director, hires former director for new position
Barbara Peppy returns as project coordinator

by Anne Berleant

Denise Black, who led Healthy Peninsula for the past year and served as assistant director for the four previous years, announced her resignation on November 25.

“It has been wonderful working with all of you, and such a privilege to work across the communities of Blue Hill Peninsula,” she wrote in an email sent to a long list of recipients. “I will certainly miss my work with Healthy Peninsula, however my hope is to have more time with my family, and to pursue my educational and professional goals in the field of substance abuse.”

During her tenure, Black helped start Ready by 21, a program that helps prepare high school students for the workplace, health and education, and organize the past three Early Childhood conferences held in Castine and Blue Hill. She served under former executive directors Amy Vaughn and Barbara Peppy.

“She was a valuable staff person,” said advisory board member Jim Schatz. “We’re just grateful we could keep her as long as we have.”

Peppy, who started Healthy Peninsula 12 years ago and served as its executive director for over six years, has been hired to direct a $40,000 Thriving in Place grant recently awarded by the Maine Health Access Foundation.

Peppy served on the advisory board the past year, said Bery Kornreich, chairman of the advisory board. “She is very up-to-date on what’s going on with Healthy Peninsula, and has a great background. We’re lucky to have her.”

Peppy began her new position as public health project coordinator on December 9.

Both Schatz and Kornreich said she would also assume some of the executive director role for a brief period.

‘We have to [operate] within the personnel policy of the agency we’re under,” said Schatz.

Healthy Peninsula lies inside the umbrella of private nonprofit Child and Family Opportunities, Inc., headquartered in Ellsworth.

“For the short term it’s going to be an adjustment. But there’s a lot of qualified people out there, and I’m sure we’ll be able to sustain our programs,” Schatz said.

Full-time administrative assistant Barbara Brady is also leaving, and Healthy Peninsula is in the process of filling her position, Kornreich said.

“We’ll be taking a look at the needs of Healthy Peninsula more broadly, and [Peppy will] have some good advice for us as to how to proceed.”