BOSTON — MassDevelopment has awarded grants totaling $1,056,010 to 22 community health centers across Massachusetts through its Community Health Center Grant Program. The program offers grants of up to $50,000 each to fund capital improvement projects including construction, renovation, equipment, furniture, technology-related projects, as well as facility needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Commonwealth is fortunate to be home to many first-rate community health centers that provide critical care to families and individuals,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to support these health centers that have proven themselves invaluable partners in our collective efforts to combat COVID-19 and address social challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.”
Locally, the following organizations received Community Health Center Grant Program awards in FY22:
Caring Health Center, Springfield — $47,725
Founded in 1995, Caring Health Center (CHC) operates facilities in Springfield’s South End, Forest Park, and Pine Point neighborhoods. CHC provides a complete range of primary, dental, and behavioral health/substance use recovery services to more than 19,000 low-income and chronically ill patients each year including refugees, immigrants, and people experiencing homelessness. CHC will use grant funds to buy equipment and supplies for its proposed chiropractic and physical therapy programs.
Holyoke Health Center Inc., Holyoke — $50,000
Founded in 1970, Holyoke Health Center, Inc. (HHC) is the only free-standing comprehensive health center serving adults and children in the greater Holyoke area with an on-site pharmacy, primary medical care, and integrated oral health and behavioral health services. HHC has two full-service sites in Holyoke and Chicopee, as well as dental sites at the Holyoke Soldier’s Home and the Western Massachusetts Hospital in Westfield. HHC recently bought a building near its existing Holyoke site that will be incorporated into the growing campus; the organization will use this grant for safety and security improvements to the new building’s parking lot, where patients can park for free.
Community Health Programs, North Adams — $50,000
Community Health Programs (CHP) is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in Berkshire County and exists to serve those who have limited access to care, including low-income, uninsured, underinsured, immigrant, migrant, seasonal, homeless, and public housing residents. CHP is a community-based nonprofit network of health centers, dental centers, mobile health units, and comprehensive family support programming. The organization will use grant funds to upgrade its North Adams Medical and Dental Center practice by equipping two additional dental exam rooms.
Community Health Centers of Franklin County Inc., Orange — $50,000
The Community Health Center of Franklin County, Inc. provides medical care, dental care, and behavioral health care and supports social services such as transportation, language interpretation, and insurance navigator services. The organization primarily serves vulnerable populations with barriers to care due to socioeconomic or other challenges. This grant will be used to support renovations to the organization’s Orange-based Health Center Plaza, specifically helping the center expand its operations and services into currently vacant areas of the building.
“By providing affordable health care and social services to vulnerable populations across Massachusetts, community health centers are indispensable assets in our neighborhoods,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “As we try to bounce back from the pandemic, it’s as important as ever to support the critical capital projects and improvements of these organizations through our Community Health Center Grant Program.”
The Community Health Center Grant Program is funded by the MassDevelopment/Massachusetts Health Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA) Charitable Trust. MassDevelopment offers other financing options to community health centers, including tax-exempt bond financing and TechDollars, a loan program to help nonprofits buy and install technology equipment.
“These grants are critical in the ongoing work of community health centers to serve their under-resourced communities,” said Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers President and CEO Michael Curry, Esq. “Funding that invests in medical equipment upgrades and facility improvements for community health centers means more care for more patients in need.”