The Town of Grafton is happy to introduce our new Council on Aging Director, Doctor Shannon Smith! Dr. Smith comes to us from the medical field, where she has worked as a Physical Therapist for the past five years. She has a long history of working with the senior population, and we are excited to welcome her to our community.
A Massachusetts native, Shannon grew up right next door in Worcester, in the Tatnuck Square area. Growing up she enjoyed an active lifestyle, taking up Irish Step Dancing at the age of 5, and then playing field hockey and running indoor and outdoor track in High School. Shannon attributes her current love of health, wellness, and science to her active childhood.
Shannon attended college at the University of Vermont, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Sciences, and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Despite having finished her formal education in 2017, Shannon continues to learn and grow, having earned certifications as a Geriatric Certified Specialist and a Fall Prevention Specialist.
After completing her Doctoral program, Shannon entered the field of Physical therapy in 2017 and has since worked in both Boston and Philadelphia. Despite her strong medical background, Shannon is making the change to working in the field of Local Government. When asked about this change, Shannon stated “I have seen a need for tremendous growth within the health promotion sector with few avenues to explore. I want to be a greater part of the solution and believe my education and continued training for the geriatric population gives me a unique lens and a chance to implement true change.”
Shannon’s previous roles have provided her with strong communication skills and a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. Which provides an excellent advantage for her to help Grafton’s senior population age strongly and gracefully. However, Shannon is aware of the challenges of her new role. As a person several years younger than the population she is serving, Shannon plans to work hard to build genuine relationships with our senior population to ensure she gets the full scope of their experiences and perspectives. Shannon has stated that she has been drawn to working with the senior population since Graduate School and is excited to work with her new community.
Dr. Smith was attracted to Grafton due to long-standing family ties, and the unique nature of the Town. Growing up in Worcester, Shannon was already familiar with Grafton’s natural beauty. She was also attracted to Grafton’s strong sense of community and wanted to participate and build strong connections with the Town.
When Shannon is not at work, she still enjoys an active lifestyle, as an avid runner, hiker, gardener, and cook. She recently moved back to the Grafton area with her fiancé and their dog Papi, all three are excited to establish new roots in Massachusetts.
Dr. Smith’s first day is August 1, 2022! We look forward to having her in the Municipal Center, and she is excited to meet Grafton’s residents and begin working in her role to promote health and community support!