Ture Turnbull, Executive Director

Ture Richard Turnbull was born and raised just outside Lake Tahoe. In 2003, he moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University, and graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in Public Administration and International Affairs. With an interest in public policy, Mr. Turnbull began his career as a researcher for a joint committee within the Massachusetts state legislature. From there, he went on to serve in a number of policy roles within both the Massachusetts House and Senate. In 2011, Ture was nominated to, and sworn in for, the position of Commissioner on the Massachusetts LGBT Youth Commission. Among his accomplishments, Mr. Turnbull helped enact the state’s comprehensive anti-bullying legislation, and co-wrote the Commission’s annual report to the Governor, outlining budget and policy recommendations for the following year(s). In 2010, Mr. Turnbull returned to Northeastern University, and focused his studies on the influence of economic development policy on urban revitalization, workforce talent retention and attraction, and the integration of sustainability into municipal operations. In 2012, Mr. Turnbull received his masters degree in Urban and Regional Policy. Mr. Turnbull is an avid runner.  To date, he has completed six half marathons as well as the Boston Marathon, where he ran on behalf of The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Patricia Downs Berger, MD, Eastern Massachusetts Co-Chair

Patricia Downs Berger is a retired internist, wife of surgeon Dr. Robert Berger, and mother of two daughters Ilana and Shana Berger. She graduated from Colby College in Maine in 1962 and Cornell University School of Medicine in New York City in 1966. She has lived in the Boston area since coming to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in 1968 as a second year medical resident. Using her maiden name in her professional life, Dr. Downs took her first job in l970 as Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Harvard St. Neighborhood Health Center, (HSNHC), in Dorchester, MA. The HSNHC was affiliated with Boston City Hospital where her patients were regularly hospitalized and where she participated in the teaching programs at BU, Harvard, and Tufts. She worked at the HSNHC for 14 years and enjoyed immensely caring for the patients in the predominately African-American community including a significant number from the Caribbean and Haiti. In 1984 Dr. Downs joined the Harvard Community Health Plan, one of the first staff model HMOs. Unfortunately, the culture and the support systems at HCHP did not resonate with her patient-centered style of practice and she left after two years. She took a temporary job at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center in their Home Care program, and in 1987 joined Dr. Michael Rees in his private practice in Brookline. This was a very busy practice but was stimulating and fulfilling. As part of the practice she became the school doctor for the Mass College of Art and would see their students one afternoon a week. In 1996, having been a doctor for 30 years, Dr. Downs decided she wanted to spend more time on other parts of her life. She left Rees Medical but kept her job at Mass Art for six more years until she fully retired in 2002. Since retiring she has competed in national adult figure skating championships, has enjoyed learning to paint and work on sculpture, and she has treasured time with her granddaughter and her family. Dr. Downs has continued her medical interest by working to achieve a Single Payer health care system that guarantees affordable quality health care coverage for all Americans. She is Co-Chair of Mass-Care, is active with Physicians for a National Health Plan, and has been a forceful advocate for Single Payer reform at the Massachusetts Medical Society.

Jackie Wolf, PhD, Western Massachusetts Co-Chair

Jackie Wolf is a sociologist, wife of historian Barry J. Levy, mother of two sons and lives in Amherst MA. Jackie grew up in Oxford, North Carolina and Surfside, Florida. She graduated from Douglass College of Rutgers University (NJ) and completed a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) in 1978. Jackie wrote a dissertation on leadership in colonial North Carolina. Her academic career started with teaching courses in social stratification, women’s studies and medical sociology at colleges and universities in the Cleveland, OH area. Her career took a turn to research when she was hired by the Department of Epidemiology, Case Western Reserve University Medical School (Cleveland, OH), to direct the field project for a large health survey of urban, elderly, lower income, minority households. Publications from that study critiqued the idea of training volunteers to conduct health assessments of their neighbors. Jackie moved to Amherst with her family in 1989. She began an active involvement in issues of racism and classism in the local public schools her sons attended and continues that effort. Jackie is also Chair of the League of Women Voters of Amherst Health Care Committee bridging the single payer work of the League and Mass-Care.