Nimoh to lead Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Miriam

MAVIS NIMOH has been named executive director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital. / COURTESY LIFESPAN

PROVIDENCE – The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital has named its first African American woman director.

Mavis Nimoh, a native of Pawtucket and graduate of the University of Rhode Island, has returned to her home state after years of working for government agencies and nonprofits.

“After a nationwide search process, Mavis was by far our top choice and we are delighted to have her join the center,” Dr. Josiah Rich, the center’s co-founder and director said in a statement. “Throughout her career, Mavis has been a change agent and led transformative initiatives that shifted culture and practice in behavioral health and criminal justice to better serve families and communities.”

Nimoh has served as state director of victim services for Mothers Against Drunk Driving Pennsylvania and executive director of a Dauphin County agency in Harrisburg, Pa., that provided access to care for people with substance abuse disorders. She also spearheaded a first-ever diversionary program within that county’s booking center and oversaw treatment and recovery services for its drug court and school-based treatment initiatives.

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In Rhode Island, she is a member of the board of directors for the Providence Afterschool Alliance and Rhode Island School for Progressive Education, and also serves as a mentor with the New Leaders Council of Rhode Island.

“I am thrilled to join the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights as its executive director and work alongside partners and experts sourcing and implementing systems-level change and solutions at the intersection of health equity and criminal justice,” Nimoh said. “Equally as important for me was to return home and serve the communities that raised me and set me on the path for success. Representation matters, and I am proud to work for an organization that values and champions diversity, equity and opportunity.”

The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights, established in 2005, acts as a hub for correctional health research and programming at The Miriam and other research hospitals across the state and country. Work at the center focuses on raising awareness about the health and reentry challenges faced by people who were incarcerated and improving outcomes using public health models.

The center also offers education and training for college and postgraduate students. It is funded by a five-year $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.