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Out On The Town: Shaun McAuliffe

By Sidhi Dhanda, Reporter
Out On The Town- Shaun

Out on the Town is HCAM's limited series produced by HCAM Journalist Intern Sidhi Dhanda. View this Out On The Town episode here.

Mosquito-borne illnesses, camps, restaurants, beaches, funeral homes, trash trucks, nursing homes, and septic systems are just some of the things that the Hopkinton Health Department is responsible for. However, most people know Hopkinton’s Health Director Sean McAuliffe’s name just from the mists of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent interview, we had the opportunity to sit down with McAuliffe and learn who he is beyond his job.

McAuliffe is originally from Easton, Massachusetts. Growing up, McAuliffe thought he would become a doctor, a career choice influenced by his mother’s type 1 diabetes.

“That experience of having to help my mom understand and help everybody in the family understand what was going on really drove me towards medicine and Public Health,” McAuliffe said.

While studying in college, McAuliffe found himself drawn towards environmental toxicology, ultimately earning a master’s degree in Public Health with a focus on environmental toxicology. After graduate school, he started working for a large environmental firm. After consulting for most of his career, McAuliffe transitioned to public health director.

Beyond his professional life, McAuliffe has a passion for rowing and brewing. He plans to coach rowing at his daughter’s school. He is also an award-winning brewer and has dreams of opening a small brewery.

He has had some remarkable experiences, from having a beer with Sting and being in a movie. During our interview, he shared a story about how he became an extra for the film “A Civil Action,” starring Robert Duvall and John Travolta. His knowledge of environmental engineering also made him a valuable asset on set, helping the production team set up drilling scenes accurately and authentically.

McAuliffe’s approach to his role as Health Director mirrors his life philosophy: embrace opportunities and set high standards.

“Taking the opportunity and just saying yes and that’s also our philosophy here in the department,” McAuliffe said. “We could do nothing or just do the bare minimum but I would argue that wouldn’t be any fun.”

View this Out On The Town episode here.