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Geoff Wilkinson
Geoff Wilkinson Geoff Wilkinson is senior policy advisor to the commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He also teaches health politics and policy for the Boston University School of Public Health. Before joining state government in 2007, Wilkinson served as executive director of the Massachusetts affiliate of the American Public Health Association, where he led legislative advocacy for the state public health budget and directed campaigns on obesity prevention, environmental health, and workforce development. From 1992-2001, he served as executive director of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, where he led community organizing on elder health and housing issues and played a key role in creating the nation's first state-subsidized insurance program to help seniors afford prescription medicines. Wilkinson worked as a community organizer in Boston public housing in the 1980s and in emergency shelter and counseling for adolescents in the 1970s. He performed as a folk singer in support of peace and social justice movements, mostly in the 1980s. He is a graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work, where he has taught and supervised MSW candidates since the 1990s. He's been married for 30 years to Sally Johnson, a clinical social worker, with whom he has raised two sons, born in 1986 and 1989. Wilkinson says, "I started writing poetry in my teens but took a long hiatus after reading Whitman's Leaves of Grass and realizing how poor my craft was. Over the past couple of decades, I've returned to it, inspired by the work of numerous poets and interested in exploring issues of social engagement, life, and love. Sally and I raised two talented musicians, who deepened my appreciation for and knowledge about jazz. How could a poet not incorporate jazz into his or her reflections?"