2007.02.04: February 4, 2007: Headlines: COS - Chile: Obituaries: Boston Globe: Obituary for Chile RPCV Janet Berkenfield

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Chile: Peace Corps Chile : Peace Corps Chile: New Stories: 2007.02.04: February 4, 2007: Headlines: COS - Chile: Obituaries: Boston Globe: Obituary for Chile RPCV Janet Berkenfield

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Obituary for Chile RPCV Janet Berkenfield

Obituary for Chile RPCV Janet Berkenfield

Janet Berkenfield was a dedicated public health professional who worked to help immigrants, young mothers, and children during a career that lasted more than 40 years. "Janet had a true gift in starting up new projects and in administering the details of their implementation," Cindy Rogers, Ms. Berkenfield's supervisor at the state Department of Public Health and colleague of 14 years, said in a statement. "She worked tirelessly to bring the reality of her vision of systems that worked for the benefit of children."

Obituary for Chile RPCV Janet Berkenfield

Janet Berkenfield, at 64; worked in public health for 4 decades

By John Guilfoil, Globe Correspondent | February 4, 2007

Janet Berkenfield was a dedicated public health professional who worked to help immigrants, young mothers, and children during a career that lasted more than 40 years.

"Janet had a true gift in starting up new projects and in administering the details of their implementation," Cindy Rogers, Ms. Berkenfield's supervisor at the state Department of Public Health and colleague of 14 years, said in a statement. "She worked tirelessly to bring the reality of her vision of systems that worked for the benefit of children."

Ms. Berkenfield , a resident of Jamaica Plain, died Thursday after she had a stroke three weeks ago. She was 64.

Ms. Berkenfield was born in El Paso and came to Massachusetts to attend Brandeis University, where she received her bachelor's degree in political science in 1963. She received a master's degree from Stanford in 1965. She later received an MBA from Boston University.

After graduate studies at Stanford, Ms. Berkenfield joined the Peace Corps in 1965, developing health programs in Chile. She then returned to Massachusetts and worked for the Department of Public Health Migrant Health Project. According to friends, she developed medical and dental services for migrant farm workers.

In 1975, Ms. Berkenfield became the statewide director of the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children. She left state service in 1982 to direct the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center until 1989.

Ms. Berkenfield rejoined state government in 1990, working with the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. In 1993, she became the first director of the state Emergency Medical Services for Children project, where she worked until her death.

During her tenure, Ms. Berkenfield led a federally funded initiative to raise the standard of emergency healthcare for children. The project has funded child-appropriate equipment in ambulances and hospitals, childhood injury prevention programs, and specialized training for rescue workers, according to friends.

She purchased a duplex house in Jamaica Plain in 1980 with a friend, Janet Dillon. Ms. Berkenfield was close with Dillon's daughter, Ani, and took on a grandmotherly role with the young girl, according to Judith Stein, another friend.

"Janet loved music," said Stein, who recalled her passion for everything from opera to country-western.

Ms. Berkenfield leaves a sister, Betsy Worley of Fort Worth, Texas, and four nieces and nephews.

A graveside ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. today at Baker Street Cemeteries in West Roxbury.
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.




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Story Source: Boston Globe

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Chile; Obituaries

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