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New Partnership Gives Grants To Community Health Centers


New funding is being provided to help meet growing demand at community health centers in Massachusetts.  The money comes from a partnership between a large Boston- based hospital network and a non-profit health maintenance organization. 

   $90 million will be provided over the next 15 years to community health centers in Massachusetts under an initiative announced by Partners Healthcare and Neighborhood Health Plan.  The first round of grants, totaling $4.25 million has been awarded to 49 health centers  to help many of them pay for  converting to an electronic records system that is required under the national Affordable Care Act.

   James  Hunt, president of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers says one in eight  people in Massachusetts receive their primary care at a neighborhood health center.

   $200,000 in grants were given to community health centers serving the Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke areas.   Officials gathered on Friday at the  Chicopee Health Center to talk about the grants.

   Dr. Gary Gottlieb, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare, which was founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said the hospital network is putting so much money into the initiative because community health centers are on the cutting edge of health reforms.

   Anne Awad,  CEO of Caring Health Center in Springfield said the  $75,000 grant her agency received funds a new electronic records system.

   Awad said the Springfield health centers have 14,000 patients

   Grants were also given to the Holyoke Health Center, Baystate  Health’s Brightwood and Mason Square Neighborhood Health Centers in Springfield , and Springfield –based Health Services for the Homeless.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.
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