MassDevelopment

MassDevelopment Awards $496,604 to 11 Community Health Centers

May 4, 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)
mquackenbush@massdevelopment.com

MassDevelopment has provided $496,604 to 11 community health centers through the Community Health Center Grant 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 video conference equipment and a state-of-the-art panoramic x-ray machine, to launching a health-and-wellness initiative at a middle school.

“Community health centers provide the Commonwealth with critical health and wellness services and also act as important economic centers and job creators,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment is proud to support these vital institutions and help them improve their facilities with new technologies and equipment so they can better serve their patients.”  

The Community Health Center Grant Program is funded by the MassDevelopment/HEFA Trust, which MassDevelopment has continued since the 2010 merger of the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA) with MassDevelopment. MassDevelopment offers other financing options available to community health centers, including tax-exempt bond financing, and TechDollars, a loan program to help all nonprofits purchase and install technology equipment.

The following institutions received MassDevelopment grants in 2017: 

Caring Health Center, Springfield - $50,000
Founded in 1976, Caring Health Center (CHC) is located in the diverse South End neighborhood of Springfield and operates five sites that provide primary, dental, and behavioral care. CHC services 17,500 annually and employs 244 full-time staff members. This grant will allow the CHC to demolish two unused offices to build two exam rooms, doubling the Center’s clinical capacity and allowing it to welcome patients into a professional, modern, comfortable environment. 

“Caring Health Center is pleased to partner with MassDevelopment on this important initiative that supports our mission to improve and transform patient health outcomes. This funding will ensure that CHC continues to expand its capacity to provide quality, culturally competent care for residents, regardless of insurance, ability to pay, or language and cultural barriers,” said President and CEO Tania M. Barber.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Mashpee - $49,603
Community Health Center of Cape Cod seeks to improve the health status of its community through the provision of high-quality, compassionate healthcare to all. It has locations in Mashpee, Falmouth, and Bourne, and currently serves 15,000 patients annually. The Center will use this grant to expand its telehealth monitoring program and to implement new telehealth services for dermatology and optometry. 

“We are so very grateful for the grant from MassDevelopment to support our telehealth program,” said Karen Gardner, CEO at Community Health Center of Cape Cod. “This gift will enable us to purchase equipment to expand our remote patient monitoring program, and to implement new telehealth services for dermatology and optometry. These telehealth applications will reduce barriers and expand access to specialty care for our most vulnerable patients.”

DotHouse Health, Boston - $50,000
In 1887, DotHouse Health opened as the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center in Dorchester’s Fields Corner neighborhood to serve low-income and immigrant populations. The health center addresses disparities among underserved and vulnerable populations in the neighborhood by providing adult, pediatric, and family medicine, walk-in urgent care, women’s health, dentistry and eye care, and more. This grant will allow the Center to renovate its Dental SteriCenter, which was recently damaged by a flood, by installing new millwork, plumbing, electrical systems, and flooring. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of MassDevelopment,” says Usha Thakrar, Chief Operating Officer of DotHouse Health. “This funding has allowed us to complete a much-needed renovation of our dental clinic’s sterilization center with state-of-the-art technology that improves efficiency and streamlines patient flow.”

Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center Inc., Worcester - $49,900 
The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center strives to help people live healthier lives. It was founded in 1972, and today serves residents in MetroWest and Central Massachusetts through three medical facilities, four dental sites, and six school-based clinics. This grant will help the Center upgrade and install video conferencing equipment in its Worcester, Framingham, and Milford sites, which will facilitate inter-site conferences, conserve staff time, and reduce patient wait times.

“As a result of MassDevelopment’s generous grant, we will be able to install video conferencing equipment to enhance communication between our healthcare sites,” said Antonia G. McGuire, President and CEO of Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. “In addition, our clinical team will be able to introduce innovative telehealth initiatives to better serve our patients. We are so thankful for the support we have received from MassDevelopment.”
                                    
Family Health Center of Worcester Inc., Worcester - $47,988
Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW) provides comprehensive primary care and social services for low-income, vulnerable residents of Greater Worcester, regardless of their ability to pay. FHCW has been asked by the Worcester School Department to open a school-based health center in Worcester East Middle School to address the high level of physical health and mental health needs among students. This grant funding will allow FHCW to buy medical, office, and computer equipment, and pay for staff time dedicated to this project, which will be a component of the Worcester Health Environments and Resilience in Schools (Worcester HEARS) pilot project to support children that have experienced adversity. Worcester East Middle School is one of five schools partaking in Worcester HEARS, a comprehensive trauma-sensitive educational program that will focus on successful relationships among teachers, students, schools, and their communities.
 
“We are grateful to MassDevelopment for joining us as a partner, along with Worcester Public Schools, to establish a new school-based health center at Worcester East Middle School later this year,” said Frances M. Anthes, President and CEO of Family Health Center of Worcester. “School-based health centers improve the overall health and wellness of all children through medical visits, annual health screenings, health education, and behavioral health services. MassDevelopment funding will help us provide comprehensive, high-quality care to the students at Worcester East Middle School.”

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Methuen - $50,000
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) has operated for nearly 40 years and serves 60,000 people in the Merrimack Valley. GLFHC’s main clinical facilities are located in Lawrence and Methuen, and it operates two school-based health centers in the region, a hospital-based facility in Lawrence, and Health Care for the Homeless at 14 community sites throughout the Merrimack Valley. This grant will support GLFHC’s Health Care for the Homeless program by allowing the Center to buy and outfit a mobile unit to serve the homeless population throughout its service region.      

“We are excited about Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s new Mobile Health Unit,” said Richard Napolitano, Senior Vice President, External Relations and Chief Development Officer at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. “Currently, GLFHC clinicians provide direct, primary care services to more than 1,200 individuals from Lowell to Haverhill at 14 different homeless shelters. This unit will allow us to continue meeting the needs of the most underserved and vulnerable and, at the same time, expand our outreach to the chronically homeless in our communities.”

The Hilltown Community Health Centers Inc., Worthington - $37,913
The Hilltown Community Health Centers (HCHC) provides medical, dental, behavioral health, optometry, physical therapy, and community services to residents of the Hilltowns, regardless of their ability to pay. It currently operates four sites: Worthington Health Center, Huntington Health Center, a school-based health center at Gateway Regional School, and the Gateway Community Center. Grant funds will allow HCHC to buy a panoramic dental x-ray machine for its new health center site in Amherst. The machine will play an integral part in the Center’s comprehensive healthcare approach by addressing its service population’s dental care needs.

“We are grateful to MassDevelopment for providing the funds that will allow us to purchase the panoramic x-ray machine for our new location in Amherst,” said HCHC CEO Eliza Lake. “Low-income individuals suffer a disproportionate share of dental disease, including tooth loss due to decay or gum disease. Poor dental health can contribute to elevated risks for systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. A panoramic x-ray is an important diagnostic tool, especially for those who have gone without dental care for years, and is an important part of HCHC’s comprehensive approach to healthcare.”

Holyoke Health Center Inc., Holyoke - $50,000
Holyoke Health Center (HHC) has two main health centers in Holyoke and Chicopee that serve 22,500 patients annually. HHC recently added a full service eye care and vision center in Holyoke, and has secured funding to supply the instruments and equipment needed to double the capacity of its eye care services. This grant will help to increase the space of the center. 

“Starting our own optometry program is the best way for Holyoke Health Center to meet our patients’ urgent need for vision services. To do that, we needed to expand our space by buying, renovating, and equipping our Vision Services Center, thus doubling our capacity,” said Jay Breines, Holyoke Health Center Executive Director. “From serving children with vision-related education issues, to adults with diabetes, this expanded program will be an essential component of the healthcare services we provide.”

Lowell Community Health Center, Lowell - $50,000
Founded in 1970, Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) provides primary medical care to infants, children, and adults in Greater Lowell. It is currently undergoing a $25.8 million capital expansion project that will include the construction of a dental clinic to open in early 2018. Lowell CHC will use this $50,000 grant for dental equipment that will help the Center provide more than 6,000 preventive dental and oral health visits to low-income adults and children within the first year of operation.

“This grant will help us to serve so many patients who now lack access to affordable, accessible dental care,” said Susan West Levine, CEO of Lowell CHC. “We are grateful to MassDevelopment for its partnership and its commitment to the Commonwealth’s community health centers.”

Harbor Health Services Inc./Neponset Health Center, Boston - $11,200
Located in Dorchester, the Neponset Health Center is operated by Harbor Health Services Inc. and offers a full spectrum of medical and behavioral care. Neponset Health Center will use the grant to buy software and a year of licensing costs to support its medical interpreter program. 

“Neponset Health Center provides more than 8,000 interpreter visits per year, and this new software will allow us to serve our patients more efficiently,” said Neponset Health Center Executive Director Kevin Casey. “The software deploys, tracks, and generates data to improve communication and workflow; decreases the amount of time patients will have to wait for interpreters; and improves overall patient care. We are grateful to MassDevelopment for awarding us a grant for this important and useful technology.”  

South End Community Health Center, Boston - $50,000
The South End Community Health Center (SECHC) is a comprehensive nonprofit health center founded in 1969 in Boston that provides family medicine; women’s health; pediatric and behavior health; ophthalmology; and dental care services. SECHC served more than 19,000 patients last year. This grant will allow the Center to buy five new dental chairs to replace current chairs that have significantly deteriorated over 15 years. 

“The dental staff at South End Community Health Center is very excited to replace our well-used dental chairs. Some of our units are more than 15 years old and, with the heavy patient flow at our clinic, are well past their prime,” said South End Community Health Center Dental Department Vice President Rekha Hariawala, DMD. “The new chairs will be more comfortable for the patients, the dentists, and the dental assistants. We thank MassDevelopment for this generous grant.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.