PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire Area Health Education Center has announced an interim executive director.

Cathy J. Cohen, a resident of Leeds, will temporarily replace Timothy J. Diehl, who has resigned for health reasons, according to Anna Gallo-Foss, the chairwoman of the board of directors. Diehl has been the executive director of the Pittsfield-based organization for the past eight years.

Cohen is part of the executive transitions group at Third Sector New England, a nonprofit consulting organization based in Boston. Third Sector New England provides a range of nonprofit consulting services, including the executive director search process.

Berkshire AHEC is primarily an organization that focuses on the ongoing education of area health professionals in addition to addressing various public health issues.

Cohen is also a principal at C.J. Cohen Associates, a consulting business she has led since 1994. She has more than 25 years of experience in senior-level management in both community hospitals and nonprofit organizations. She has served as interim executive director for a number of Massachusetts and Connecticut nonprofits, and holds a master's in business administration from the University of Massachusetts and an undergraduate degree from Temple University.

In a news release, Foss said she feels the organization is fortunate to have attracted a capable professional to temporarily lead Berkshire AHEC.

Foss went on to say that Tim Diehl's shoes are difficult to fill.

"Tim has brought the local organization to a very respected place in Berkshire County," she said.


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Berkshire AHEC has experienced several staffing changes in recent months, and Joan Rubel, director of public health initiatives, will work closely with Cohen to manage day-to-day operations.

The Berkshire center is one of six federally authorized Area Health Education Centers in Massachusetts.