To the editor:
Dr. John Wolfe, in his commitment and everyday actions, demonstrated that the true meaning of “community” is rooted in the belief that we each have a stake in the well-being of the other.
On behalf of all who join together throughout the city in the work of Healthy Gloucester Collaborative (HGC), I express deep sadness on the unexpected passing of Dr. John Wolfe, dear colleague, advisor, friend and unique leader in the spirit of service and deep caring that is Gloucester.
It is an honor and a joy to have known Dr. Wolfe. Daily, his “can do” energy sparked energy in others and engaged a wide circle of medical colleagues and officials in support of the coalition’s goals to prevent and reduce substance use. Always, his spirited outlook and good humor made, what seemed daunting, possible.
Dr. Wolfe connected his professional life as an esteemed and empathic physician with love of community in many key roles including as past Chair of the Board of Health.
His leadership was guided by a steady compass to advocate and give voice to public health policy centered in social justice. As Loretta Peres, Chill Zone director, states, “Dr. Wolfe in his calm way, was the front runner in HGC bringing community awareness to the problems of prescription drug misuse.”
In continued spirit of community, those who worked closely with Dr. Wolfe and joined with him in the coalition share their thoughts:
“I have known John Wolfe since he first came here as a young physician. He always advocated for his patients, nurses and the hospital he was so proud of. After his retirement he was very involved in the HGC Physicians Round Table held at the hospital that opened discussion and learning on substance use prevention and increased patient centered care on these issues and others.” — Ruth George, RN, Emergency Department Nurse Manager, Addison Gilbert Hospital.
“I had the absolute pleasure to work with Dr. John Wolfe as a partner in the coalition. He exemplified volunteerism and giving back. I am thankful for the role model he was, his keen insight, thoughtful nature, vast knowledge of medicine and respect for others opinions. In all my years of police work, Dr. John Wolfe stands out singularly as a man of integrity whose life is a blessing to us all.” — Interim Chief Mike Lane, retired, Gloucester Police Department.
“Dr. Wolfe is my colleague of many years – John’s purpose was to especially help those who could not speak for themselves. He wrote letters in newspaper, spoke the truth at public meetings, counseled doctors struggling and shared his own challenges to help others ... Not everyone makes an impact on so many lives, Dr. Wolfe did.” — Candace Thompson, DO, Cape Ann Primary Care.
“Dr. Wolfe inspired me with his clear, thoughtful leadership on issues I am involved with everyday in my work. His empathic understanding of what community is, humble manner and expertise speaks to the nature of his character and his partnership as we joined around the table in the coalition.” — Sander Schultz, EMS Coordinator, Gloucester Fire Department.
Dr. John Wolfe, a man of community and above all, a loving husband, father and grandfather, brought energy and inspiration to us all. Our hearts are with his family and he is deeply missed.
Director, Healthy Gloucester Collaborative
Gloucester Health Department