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Community Health Connections awarded grant

June 19, 2019 : Sentinel & Enterprise

BOSTON — MassDevelopment has provided grants totaling $509,336 to 11 community health centers, including Fitchburg's Community Health Connections, across the commonwealth through the Agency's Community Health Center Grants Program, which will help these organizations complete capital improvement projects.

The program offers grants of up to $50,000 each for projects ranging from installing upgraded security equipment to adding exam rooms for increased patient capacity.

"Healthy economies depend on healthy communities, and the community health centers receiving funding this year are on the ground in cities and towns across the Commonwealth providing quality, affordable health care and serving as an essential part of Massachusetts' health care system," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. "MassDevelopment is proud to provide these important institutions with the resources they need to upgrade and improve their facilities."

The Community Health Center Grant Program is funded by the MassDevelopment/HEFA Trust. MassDevelopment offers other financing options to community health centers, including tax-exempt bond financing and TechDollars, a loan program to help nonprofits purchase and install technology equipment.

Fitchburg's Community Health Connections, Inc. which was awarded 50,000 grant operates four health centers throughout north-central Massachusetts, providing primary medical care, dental care, oral surgery, behavioral health, psychiatry, optometry, podiatry, acupuncture, substance use disorder treatment, and insurance enrollment assistance.

To improve patient access, the organization will use this $50,000 grant to build a centralized call center in the basement of its Fitchburg Community Health Center, which will house seven employees that will answer incoming patient phone calls related to scheduling and referrals.

"Community Health Connections is proud to serve those in our community in need of health care and pride ourselves on providing the highest-quality care," said Community Health Connections President and CEO John DeMalia. "We are grateful to MassDevelopment for recognizing our contribution to the community and for their continued support to make that possible."