Leadership of Alumna Makes Family Voices Heard
As the coordinator of the Down Syndrome Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, Alumna Angela Lombardo '91 displays leadership while working closely with children, parents, medical specialists, community physicians, and educators to offer specialized services for all children with Down syndrome (DS). She starts early, meeting with families of newborns with DS, connecting them to resources they may need, and then continuing to follow and support them as the children grow.
Angela also works with nurses, physical therapists, teachers, and parents, teaching them the skills needed to advocate for children with developmental disabilities. And she coordinates the hospital’s Linking Hands program, sending residents and fellows into the homes of children with special health care needs so they can learn about their family life outside the clinical setting. “I teach family-centered care and make sure family voices are always represented,” she says, one of many reasons why, in 2008, the cutting-edge advocacy organization Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress awarded her the prestigious Allen C. Crocker Award of Excellence for her work advancing the DS movement in Massachusetts.
Angela’s work supporting, educating, and caring for families of newborns to young adults with Down syndrome is invaluable to those she serves. She credits her experience with her own son, who has Down syndrome, and her Wheelock education for inspiring her to improve the lives of children and families by working with the strengths she finds in them.“My education at Wheelock was priceless as it guided me in raising my son with Down syndrome. I was shocked at his diagnosis after his birth, but through my experiences at Wheelock, I knew my son could grow to be a learner and important community member. It is in this spirit that I work as the program coordinator at the Down Syndrome Program.