Ashley Pavlakos: Public Health Nurse ready to bring new ideas forward | News

TEWKSBURY — Town Nurse Ashley Pavlakos loves her job. Pavlakos has a passion to public health and community outreach. She is eager to bring new ideas and health education programs to Tewksbury.

Pavlakos is visiting the town with a grant from the state for Public Health Excellence. Pavlakos’ position is to offer regional support, providing a resource for Tewksbury, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Tyngs­borough.

Residents are fortunate to have her in Tewksbury for 30 hours per week. Pavlakos will remain in Tyngsborough an additional 10 hours per week to support the work of other health departments on an ongoing basis. For example, Pavla­kos will be assisting at a flu clinic in Chelmsford next week.

Since January, Pavlakos has been the town’s Public Health Nurse. The town nurse’s office is located in town hall, on the bottom level near the oth­er health department offi­ces

She wants residents know she is available for all their health and wellness questions and concerns.

An RN by training, Pav­lakos became interested in making the switch to public health nursing after a career in medical/surgical work, telemetry, and em­ergency room work.

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Pavlakos graduated UMass Lowell and holds a BSN.

“The schedule was grueling during COVID and I needed a change,” Pav­lakos said.

Pavlakos based her experience in the ER on her own, felt she could make a difference by working one to one with residents to answer questions and direct people to resources that might help them.

“I felt I could head off is­sues that people were go­ing to the ER for,” Pav­lakos said.

Pavlakos was also attracted to the variety of the job, which involved supporting residents and attending a wide range needs.

Pavlakos is excited to share her many initiatives with the town, in addition to her health prevention work. Raising awareness about sun safety and partnering with the town’s Public Safety Night was a recent highlight for her.

Pavlakos hopes to also bring Youth Mental Health First Aid classes in town to help parents, teachers, community leaders recognize signs that a young person is in crisis.

Recently CPR instructor-certified, Pavlakos is planning to offer free CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator) instruction to the community. Pavlakos will also be part of the newly revived hoarding task force, a collaboration among nine communities to share re­sources and expertise.

Pavlakos will be administering the flu vaccine as flu season approaches. She will be running a flu clinic on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. – noon at the senior center, an­other one at the Saunders Circle Community Room on Oct. 3 from 9 – 10 a.m. and on Oct. 3 at the Del­aney Drive Community Room from 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

On the afternoon of Oct. 3, she’ll have a flu clinic at the Carnation Drive Community Room from 3 – 4 p.m. Pavlakos also runs weekly blood pressure cli­nics at the senior center on Tuesdays from 10 – 11:30 a.m. and Wednes­days from 9 – 11 a.m., where she can help residents check their heart rate and blood oxygen levels as well. This service is offered at no cost to the community.

Pavlakos wants residents to be aware that more COVID test are on the horizon and that an announcement about their arrival will be made for them as soon as possible. She’d also like to remind residents to stay vigilant with respect to hand washing and other COVID-19 health precautions. Pavlakos can also help residents get a booster shot.

If you’d like to speak to Pavlakos regarding a health issue or concern, contact her at 978-640-4473.

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