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First woman chief of Chelsea Soldiers’ Home sworn in

On the 10th Annual Women Veterans Appreciation Day, a woman was sworn in as superintendent of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home — marking the first time a woman has led the facility in its 132-year history, officials announced Friday.

Cheryl Poppe, a retired colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard, has served since April as acting superintendent of the home, where she works with residents and employees to enhance the veterans services, according to a statement by the office of Governor Deval L. Patrick. She was sworn in as superintendent of the home Thursday.

Poppe holds a master’s degree in business administration from Salem State University. She has served the country for more than 30 years, including five years as deputy secretary for programs at the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services.

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“Cheryl has served the Commonwealth with honor, from her time as a colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard to her work as a leader in our Department of Veterans Services,” Patrick said in the statement. “From health care, to housing and treatment, she holds a deep understanding of the needs of our veterans, and will be a strong leader of the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home.”

The Chelsea Soldiers’ home is a multifaceted health care facility that has served eligible veterans in the Commonwealth since 1882, according to the website of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“As a one of the top leaders in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, Colonel (Ret.) Cheryl Poppe served the Commonwealth and nation with distinction and honor,” Major General L. Scott Rice, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, said in the statement. “Poppe’s leadership, dedication and commitment to those that serve is inspirational.”


Trisha Thadani can be reached at trisha.thadani@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.