Ed Gaskin, of Randolph, was recognized as a Men’s Health Champion at Whittier Street Health Center’s 21st Annual Men’s Health Summit.
In addition to the award, Gaskin received recognition from Boston Mayor Kim Janey and Gov. Charlie Baker.
In his remarks, Gaskin said his next focus would be in the “Food as Medicine Space,” with the goal of lowering the incidence of diet related disease. He said he hoped to launch a new food line that would have little or no salt, fat or sugar and none of the top nine allergens to help achieve that goal. Diet is the major driver of preventable disease and has a disproportionate impact on Black Americans.
Gaskin, the executive director of Greater Grove Hall Main Streets (GGHMS), was honored as a Men’s Health Champion in part because, in response to COVID-19, GGHMS and Whittier Street Health Center developed a detailed guide for small businesses that was more thorough than the guidelines provided by the CDC. The guide was in both Spanish and English.
GGHMS promoted testing and vaccinations, distributed PPE to local businesses, and helped set up a COVID-19 testing site with Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. GGHMS distributed gift cards for food, laundry and cleaning supplies and eventually helped distribute 3,000 cases of food per week.
The COVID-19 efforts were led by Karen Bumch, the GGHMS board chair, and Gaskin published an op-ed in the Boston Globe on COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among African Americans and potential community-based solutions.
His prior work included the public health crisis of gang violence, the leading cause of death for Black males between the ages of 18-24. He was one of the three organizers of a national conference at the national Press Club and has written books on the topic.
Gaskin’s current focus is the reduction of diet-related disease since approximately 76% of preventable disease is diet related. He started Sunday Celebrations, a “food as medicine” company, to reformulate food to be more consistent with clinical nutrition and natural healing best practices for chronic disease.
He is on the Mass General Brigham Institutional Review Board. Recently, he participated in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Community Engagement Studio.
Prior healthcare related experience includes helping start Geron, and Origen Therapeutics, biotech companies. He served on the ethical advisory board of Advanced Cell Technologies. At Deloitte Consulting, he was in the Life Sciences/Healthcare practice serving nationally known clients such as Kaiser Permanente, Harvard Pilgrim, Parexel and McKesson.
He is the author of the books, “Regenerative Medicine and Human Genetic Modification,” and “Night Vision” a collection of genetics-based science fiction, “Stories from a Domestic Violence Advocate” and “A Faith Based Approach to Reducing Gang Violence: The Complete Toolkit.”
Gaskin graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with an MBA, as a Martin Trust Fellow and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree.