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Belichick to be honored for community service

Guiding an NFL franchise to success may not seem to be the healthiest or most philanthropically accommodating lifestyle, but Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, as hard a working head coach as there is in the NFL, is being recognized by the Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center (RoxComp) as a Healthy Lifestyle awardee. Belichick and his wife Debby will be Healthy Lifestyle Honorees at the organization's "We Take Your Health to Heart" event on Saturday February 22 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston.

Belichick and his wife were selected as Healthy Lifestyle awardees for their extensive service to the community and specifically their involvement with RoxComp's "Reading is the Best Medicine" program.

According to the program's goal statement, it was founded to "prevent illiteracy and school failure among impoverished and under-resourced youth" and "strives to make literacy a standard part of pediatric care to enhance the development of children in Roxbury, North Dorchester and beyond." The program aims to distribute books to children at every routine health visit from six months to five years, stressing the importance of reading on a child's future and aiming to build a library for each child of at least ten books by the entrance to kindergarten.

RoxComp was founded 34 years ago by local citizens in response to a severe lack of medical care in the Roxbury and North Dorchester communities. The Center's guiding mission is to provide culturally, ethnically and linguistically competent primary health care and social services to people of all ages, regardless of ability to pay. RoxComp is affiliated with some of Boston's best hospitals, including Beth Israel Hospital, Boston Medical Center and Children's Hospital.

RoxComp's services included adult, adolescent and pediatric medicine, women's health, a behavioral health collaborative and special programs. The group is an active participant in public health initiatives such as nutrition, HIV services, homemaking, financial counseling, WIC, elder care, adult family care and social work. In the past year nearly 10,000 individuals of all ages made over 110,000 visits to the center's multiple locations.

RoxComp has a staff of 152 individuals and for many staff members over the years the center has served as an entry point for long-term career in direct patient care or in health care administration.

Other honorees during the Saturday reception will included Carol Fulp, Vice President of Community Relations for John Hancock and Dr. Paul Mendis, Chief Medical Officer for the Neighborhood Health Plan. Entertainment for the event will be provided by singer, songwriter and community advocate Chaka Khan. Khan has been a fixture in the music industry for over 30 years, with nine albums and five Grammy Awards in that time.

Obsessions

Belichick's connection to reading will also be highlighted this coming Sunday on the 11 a.m. SportsCenter on ESPN. The Patriots Head Coach and his extensive home library will be featured in a new segment called "Obsessions". Belichick discusses his library with segment host Ann Kreider.

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