The City of Quincy’s Department of Planning and Community Development has again won the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association (NCDA). This is the sixth time the City of Quincy has won this award.

The award is named in memory of the first Deputy Executive Secretary of NCDA. Audrey Nelson’s intense commitment to her neighborhood, her local program efforts, and her drive to serve low income people was cut short by death from cancer at the age of 29. NCDA created this award in her honor in 1987.

The Audrey Nelson award recognizes exemplary uses of federal block grant funds in meeting the needs of disadvantaged populations and low-income neighborhoods. The block grant funds are awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development through a Congressional appropriation.

This year’s award was presented in recognition of the new radiology suite at Manet Community Health on West Squantum Street. The city’s investment of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds not only paid for the construction of the suite, but also served as a catalyst for leveraging other grant funds for the imaging equipment and furniture.

“I am proud to see that Mayor Tom Koch and the City of Quincy were recognized nationally for their use of federal CDBG funds to help improve and advance the quality of health care for its residents,” said Congressman Stephen Lynch. “The new radiology suite has allowed Manet Community Health to expand the services they offer to Quincy residents so they can access life-saving cancer screenings and mammograms. I am grateful for the great work done by Mayor Tom Koch and Cynthia Sierra, CEO of Manet, to make this happen. As always, I remain proud to represent the families of Quincy in the United States Congress.”

“I am extremely proud of our investment of community development funds to make this project a reality, and I appreciate the recognition from NCDA in considering Quincy a national model with respect to our CDBG program,” said Mayor Thomas P. Koch. “The construction of this vital radiology suite is going to have a tremendous impact on the overall health of our residents. We are grateful to Congressman Lynch for his unwavering support of the CDBG program, and to Manet for their dedicated service in providing affordable quality health care in our community.”

The radiology suite opened in June 2023, and includes digital mammography and plain film x-ray imaging. Boston Medical Health System, one the premier safety-net health systems in the country, is Manet’s clinical collaborator and radiology partner. The radiology team has completed over 500 mammograms and more than 725 x-rays since its grand opening. 57% of mammography visits have been from those between 0-200% of the federal poverty level, which is considered to be “extremely low income” under the CDBG program regulations.

“We are profoundly humbled and gratified by our unmatched partnership with the City of Quincy, and their CDBG program,” said Cynthia Sierra, CEO of Manet Community Health. “The City of Quincy’s vision and commitment to supporting Manet’s dedication to ensure access to health care and health screening services, including mammography, will contribute to the efforts to detect and prevent cancer and its consequences.”

The award was presented at the annual winter conference of NCDA, recently held in Washington, D.C. Sierra attended the awards ceremony with Quincy’s community development director, Sean Glennon, after the pair co-presented at a plenary session on best practices in community development. Also presenting during the conference was Sherry Zou, Quincy’s housing programs manager and grants compliance specialist, who was a panelist at a session about environmental review administration.


Cynthia Sierra, CEO, Manet Community Health, and Sean Glennon, Community Development Director, City of Quincy, accept the Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association at its winter conference in Washington, DC.

Press release and photo courtesy of the City of Quincy