May 1, 2020

HPRC Welcomes a New Chair for Its Community Advisory Board

Rachel Seymour

Margaret Boddie
Margaret Boddie

The University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (UW HPRC) is proud to announce Margaret Boddie as its newest Community Advisory Board chair. The board includes representatives from many of our community partner organizations. Board members provide a practical perspective on community priorities and program implementation, while UW HPRC research provides a scientific base for the programs and policies developed by, for, and with community organizations.

“Being the HPRC Community Advisory Board chair is so congruent with who Margaret is,” said Immediate Past Chair George Dicks. “She is a warrior of social justice and relentless advocate for the whole community, recognizing the intersectionality of multiple social determinants of health that disproportionately impact African American Elders. She has been a tireless and concise voice for bringing resources to the community, particularly when it comes to the well-being of older adults.”

She is a results-oriented person with extensive leadership experience in management, supervision, project coordination, and human services. She is currently the manager for the African American Elders Program with Catholic Community Services. Boddie initiated the program as a pilot project with the city of Seattle during the late 1990s. She is also part of Catholic Community Services’ Multi-Racial Action Team.

Before her time at the Catholic Community Services, where she has worked for more than 15 years, she was a case-management supervisor with Seattle’s Aging and Disability Service. She dedicated more than two decades of her career to Seattle’s Department of Human Services. She has also served as a board member of the Puget Sound Health Care Alliance, and the African American Advisory Board with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dicks, who currently leads the Geriatric Psychiatry Service Clinic with Harborview Medical Center, first met Boddie more than 20 years ago and served with her on the Mayor’s Council on African American Elders. Today, he considers her a close friend and mentor.

“She was raised to strive for excellence,” he said. “And I see her doing that in all her efforts. Her dedication to community is not just a job by any means, it is a lifelong calling.”

Depression in the elderly population is a particularly strong concern of Boddie’s. “If you can address the issue of depression, you are on your way to addressing a host of inter-related problems,” she said. “It’s a worthwhile endeavor to connect people with research projects like PEARLS, especially when they derive some benefit from the experience.”

UW HPRC’s Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) brings late-life depression care to older adults in their homes and communities. UW HPRC researchers are currently studying how to make the program more accessible and address equity in depression care.

It is not Boddie’s first time serving on the UW HPRC Community Advisory Board. She rejoined as a board member in 2018 at the behest of fellow board member Winona Hollins-Hauge, who has also served as board chair. “Margaret brings with her a stellar research background, respect for intersectionality, and compassion for the underserved,” Hollins-Hauge said. “All this combined with a servant leader’s heart and heavy dose of sage multicultural wisdom makes her a perfect fit for times such as these.”

Boddie earned three degrees from the University of Washington — a bachelor’s in political science, a master’s in counseling and guidance, and a doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology. She earned her first bachelor’s in counseling and secondary education at the University of Nebraska.

Outside of work and time spent pursing a higher education, Boddie enjoys being active, speed walking, reading, and traveling the world. She’s been to Africa 11 times, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, and Indonesia. She was born and raised in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, although she has lived in the U.S. for more than 50 years.

This year, the UW HPRC Community Advisory Board also welcomes three new members who will serve as older adult advocates and provide their vital perspectives as previous PEARLS participants.

Meet Our Community Advisory Board Members

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