Women’s History Month

  • March 1, 2024

“I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without voice can be heard.” Malala Yousafzai

Each year March is designated as National Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate, honor and recognize the contributions of Women to American history.  Since 1995, Presidents have issued annual proclamations designating March as Women History Month.

This year the national theme for Women’s History Month is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” This theme recognizes women from various backgrounds who have advocated for the elimination of bias and discrimination from society.

At Whittier our women-led leadership team and staffs strive to foster positive social change for low-income, underserved and vulnerable populations. Our President and CEO, Frederica M. Williams stands at the vanguard of the push for equitable access to health care, social justice, diversity and inclusion.  In her 22 years as President and CEO at Whittier Street Health Center, Williams has made large strides implementing programs and building cross-sector partnerships to support the improvements in life expectancy in Roxbury, increasing it by 10 years. Recently, under Frederica M. Williams’ leadership, Whittier Street Health Center was awarded three federal 2023 Community Health Quality Recognition awards by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: The Addressing Social Risk Factors award, the COVID-19 Public Health Champion award, and the Advancing Health in Technology for Quality award.

Williams has been recognized with several awards including the Women Business Magazine’s Top 10 Heroes Award and the UMass Boston’s Robert Quinn Award in 2008. The WMJX-106.7FM’s Exceptional Women in Healthcare Award in 2009. In 2010, she received the Massachusetts League of Community Health Center’s Outstanding Massachusetts Health Center Executive Director Award, the Boston Business Journal’s Health Champion Award for Community Outreach and the Community Leadership Award from the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonian. In 2011 she received the Pinnacle Award by the Women’s Network of the Boston Chamber of Commerce and an award from the Network Journal in New York as one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business. In 2012, she received an award from the White House Communications Agency for her exceptional community service. In 2015 and 2016, she was named by the Boston Business Journal as one of the Power 50 Bostonians, Leader transforming real estate in Boston, and a Woman of Influence. In addition, under her leadership, Whittier has been named one of the top 100 Women Led Businesses in Massachusetts by the Commonwealth Institute and Boston Globe. In 2020, she received the Dean Shinagel Award for Service to Others from the Harvard University Extension School Alumni Association.

Whittier hosts a wide range of programs addressing women’s health and wellbeing such as:

  • The Centering Pregnancy Program in Whittier’s OB/GYN Department which utilizes a group model of care delivery and has been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes for at-risk populations. Within our service areas, rates of infant mortality, low-birthweights and pre-term births are very high.
  • The DecisionArts Program utilizes Arts Therapy to help girls who have been affected by violence. DecisionArts allows girls a healthy and productive outlet concerning violence they have faced in their lives, as well as other issues affecting teenage girls, such as self-esteem, peer pressures and sexual health.
  • Whittier’s Post Prison Release program supports women re-entering the community post incarceration and provides healthcare services and social supports as women transition from prison to being productive citizens. This program has supported more than 6,000 women since it was launched more than 10 years.
  • Whittier’s Youth Enrichment Program provides youth development services, healthcare, social supports, mentoring and career planning to help young women attain their goals and reach their full potential.
  • In 2009 Williams and a group of like-minded women leaders in Boston launched the Women for Whittier. This dedicated group of women are committed to advancing innovative ways to address and resolve issues related to women and children. They have invested time and resources to tackling urban health issues, economic gaps and social inequities to create healthier families and healthier communities. With the support of Women for Whittier, we are able to ensure that our most at risk families have the resources needed to thrive. Each year, Whittier hosts a Tea and Talk where the city’s female leaders discuss strategies to eradicate health, economic and social issues faced by women. Women for Whittier seeks to reach 1,000 women in the Greater Boston area, who are committed to these causes.

If you are interested in sponsoring or attending the next Women for Whittier Tea in December,  please contact

If you are looking to access women’s services at WSHC, please contact 617-989-3282.

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).