February 26, 2018
Community Health Education alumna Sarah Kemble, MD, MPH ’99 passed away in December 2017. She was widely known and regarded for her advocacy for high-quality healthcare for underserved populations. She helped to found the Community Health Center of Franklin County, a nonprofit where she served in a number of roles including Medical Director, Executive Director, and finally Primary Care Physician.
“Sarah was the first public health minded doctor I met when I joined the School of Public Health and Health Sciences,” says Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Daniel Gerber. “Her dedication as a medical doctor to solving the health problems for New England residents using a public health approach was truly special. She will be missed.”
Sarah's busy public speaking schedule and advocacy work included testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Care and Aging chaired by Bernie Sanders in 2011, where her remarks were titled, "Is Poverty a Death Sentence?" Notable always for her directness, truthfulness and engagement with key issues, she was the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Women of Influence Award from the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts in 2000, the Unsung Heroine Award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women in 2007, the Franklin District Community Clinician award of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the Mary Lyon Foundation 1st Annual Pet Kerrins Community Service Award in 2010.
She served in many elected and appointed positions, among them the board of Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth, Chair of the Board of Directors of Community Action serving Franklin and Hampshire counties, the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Public Health Association in Washington D.C., the Dartmouth Institute, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, and a member of the Primary Care Leadership Group to the Green Mountain Care Board of the Vermont Medical Society.