Photograph of Samantha Hamilton
Samantha Hamilton
Director of Coalition Building and Community Engagement

With over 20 years of working in the region, Samantha Hamilton has deeply committed to investing in Springfield through diverse professional experience and community-based work. Currently, Hamilton is the Director of Coalition Building & Community Engagement at the Public Health Institute of Western Mass (PHIWM). Through the Live Well Springfield Coalition, she leads the Climate Change and Health Equity Initiative (CCHE), the Transforming Communities Initiative (TCI), and the Resident Advisor Capacity Building Program.

The CCHE initiative engages policy and advocacy to create strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve health outcomes for marginalized communities based in cities and towns directly impacted by climate change, and dismantle systemic racism. In 2018-2020, she led the Transforming Community Initiative, a program that promotes health equity through policy, systems, and environmental change (PSE) strategies for access to nutritious food, safer Complete Streets, and healthier opportunities. With renewed support from Trinity Health, she collaborates with community partners and residents to utilize the PSE framework alongside a health equity lens to address housing and homelessness needs in Springfield over the next three years.

Before this, Samantha led the Age-Friendly City initiative, a community engagement and assessment process to implement Age-Friendly designation for the City of Springfield. Through her leadership, she worked closely with community organizations, city officials, and regional partners to designate Springfield the first community in the US to have a triple designation; Age-Friendly city, Dementia Friendly city, and an Age-Friendly hospital system.

She came to the PHIWM after spending over 15 years with Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS), where she progressed from Lead Camp Counselor to Director of Operations. While at MLKFS, Hamilton supported state and federal grant initiatives around gang violence, substance abuse prevention, and teen dating violence. In addition, she trained and engaged youth who successfully advocated for the passing of Tobacco 21. Her efforts also resulted in the creation and implementation of youth safe haven programming, domestic and dating violence education, and annual community engagement events.

Dedicated to civil advocacy, Ms. Hamilton co-founded A Queen's Narrative in 2018, a platform fostering a safe and inclusive space for women and girls to harness their narrative power. This personal enrichment program, tailored for women and girls of color, utilizes storytelling to promote self-empowerment and self-awareness. Collaborating with diverse women community leaders, Ms. Hamilton designs and executes thematic curricula and workshops for the program. In 2023, A Queen's Narrative received the Springfield Chapter NAACP Award for Community Services, recognizing its unwavering commitment to empowering young girls and women with freedom and purpose.

Samantha, a proud two-time alumna of American International College, holds a BA in Business Management and a Master's in Counseling Psychology from the esteemed Springfield-based institution. She has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the 2021 Business West 40 under 40 Award and the 2021 Massachusetts State House Citation for the Springfield Kwanza Community Impact Award. Additionally, Samantha is celebrated as a published and bestselling author. Her accomplishments led to her recent induction into the prestigious Marquis Who's Who Biographical Registry for 2023-2024.