Avis Goodwin, Healthcare 'Visionary,' Dies At 95

Dec 29, 2014

A lifelong champion for uninsured women and their children has died.  Avis Goodwin passed away on Saturday in York Harbor, Maine on Saturday at age 95. 

As Director of Social Services at Wentworth Douglass Hospital in 1969, she started the state’s first prenatal care clinic for uninsured women. It is now a nonprofit called the Goodwin Community Health Center in Somersworth.

CEO Janet Laatsch says Goodwin "was just a formidable woman, and before her time." Laatsch says back in 1969, New Hampshire had a high infant mortality rate compared to other states, "so we weren’t at the top of the line like we are today where we have very low infant mortality rates, and very low uninsured."

She says the late Avis Goodwin was at the helm of a movement that significantly reduced infant mortality rates in New Hampshire. Goodwin also founded a hospice center, Dover Trouble Clinic, and other community organizations.