Welcome to the team, Gail!

Exciting Next Step news! We have a new member on our staff to help us reach even more seriously ill young people. Welcome, Gail Merriam, Next Step’s new Youth Engagement Coordinator. Gail will be leading the charge in building new connections with program partners who also support teens and young adults living with cancer, HIV and rare genetic disorders. Before Next Step, Gail worked at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for 12 years working with the cancer community.

We recently sat down with Gail to learn about her personal interests outside of Next Step and her new role with us. Read our interview with Gail below and learn about Next Step’s newest staff member!

How did you find Next Step and what about the organization appealed to you?

Gail: I found the job posting on Idealist. I was attracted by the focus on transition to adulthood using empowerment.

What type of work did you do at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health? 

Gail: I oversaw a pediatric palliative care network since 2020. Prior to that I was the Program Director of MDPH’s Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control program. Our primary goal was to increase screening, early detection, treatment and survivorship.

What is your new role at Next Step?

Gail: As the new Youth Engagement Coordinator, I am responsible for helping generate and sustaining a flow of appropriate youth referrals by increasing and enhancing partnerships.

We are really into music at Next Step. Do you have a favorite musician and a favorite concert you attended? 

Gail: I love jazz. John Coltrane is one of my favorites. I also still remember attending an outdoor concert at Hollywood Bowl that featured live jazz. It was my first exposure to good jazz and it was just magical!

Do you have a favorite hobby during your free time outside of Next Step?

Gail: Anything outdoors that is in the forest, up a mountain, or on water (ocean or ponds).


You can email Gail Merriam at gail@nextstepnet.org.

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