Michael E. "Mick" Huppert
Michael E. "Mick" Huppert passed away on Friday, August 25, at his home in Petersham with his family at his side, after a long illness.
He is survived by his wife Louise Dwyer Huppert of Petersham, Mass., daughter Anne of Cambridge, daughter Caitlin and son-in-law Joseph Buldini of Medford, Mass., brother Timothy Huppert of Roberts, Wis., and uncle Thomas Kealy of River Falls, Wis., and their families.
Mick was predeceased by his brother, Patrick Huppert.
Born in River Falls to Walter and Margaret Huppert, Mick was the first of three brothers raised on the family dairy farm. He attended Holy Cross Seminary in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and St. John's University (Benedictine) in Collegeville, Minnesota. After their wedding in 1969, Mick and Louise set out to do alternative service work in Eastern Kentucky. By chance they met a professor there from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Mick was offered a Traineeship with the fledgling Department of Medical Care Organization. Mick and Louise headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The program was a strong match for Mick's skills, interest, and passion, setting him on a career path of service, advocacy, and innovation.
Following Michigan, Mick and Louise relocated to Massachusetts. He was hired by the Community Board at Great Brook Valley in Worcester and became the founding Executive Director of the Great Brook Valley Health Center and the first Director of both the Hahnemann and Dean St. Family Health Centers when the residency in Family Practice at UMASS Medical School was first developed. His relationship with UMASS Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health became a thirty-year commitment. He served as MA Statewide Program Director of the Area Health Education Center program, Executive Director of the New England AIDS Education and Training Center, and UMASS Associate Dean for Community Programs. He led efforts to improve oral health care, which provided expansion of dental clinics in health centers statewide and loan forgiveness to dentists willing to serve in community health centers. After his retirement from UMASS he served as the Executive Director of Community Health Connections in Fitchburg. He was also Treasurer and a Founding Member and Board Member of the Meyers Primary Care Institute.
He lent his keen interest, expertise, and support to the development of the Barre Health Center. He also became active internationally, traveling to Zambia and South Africa to promote medical education partnerships, access for disabled persons, and dental care. Mick loved the challenge of creating access to medical care for all. One of his most satisfying roles as Associate Dean at UMASS was serving on the Admissions Committee for the Medical School, where he interviewed hundreds of applicants and took very seriously the importance of a strong supply of future family and community oriented physicians for underserved areas, urban and rural.
In addition to his service as a member of the Massachusetts Public Health Rural Advisory Committee, his extensive commitment to rural communities included decades of service as a member of local Boards of Health in Brookfield and Barre, the Cemetery Commission in Petersham, Listening Center in Barre, and Board Member of the East Quabbin Land Trust and Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust.
A Memorial Service will be held to remember and celebrate Mick's life, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church on the common in Petersham.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mick's honor to the East Quabbin Land Trust (www.eqlt.org), Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust (www.mountgrace.org) or Heywood Hospital Oncology (www.heywood.org).