PALMER — Baystate Wing Hospital announced an investment of $80,000 in grants to benefit local community-based nonprofit organizations. The grant awards were given to the Ware Fire Department to support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and paramedic training and to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. (QVCDC) and the Quaboag Connector to support local transportation in the region.
“These grant investments are one of the many ways Baystate Wing Hospital can recognize and support the important work of our community partners,” said Molly Gray, president and chief administrative officer for Baystate Health’s Eastern Region, which includes Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. “Community partnerships are essential to building and sustaining a culture of health and wellness within our communities.”
A $70,000 grant was awarded to the Ware Fire Department in support of operations and EMS paramedic training for members of the Ware Fire/EMS team. Meanwhile, a $10,000 grant to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. will provide continued support to the Quaboag Connector Transportation Initiative, which addresses the lack of transportation to employment, education, healthcare, workforce training, shopping, and benefit services within and outside the region. The service, which began in January 2017, has provided thousands of rides to community members.
“As part of our continued commitment to reduce health disparities in our region, we are proud to partner with the Ware Fire/EMS team and the Quaboag Connector to help meet the unique needs in the region and work collaboratively to create local solutions,” Gray said.
Currently during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Quaboag Connector continues to provide close to 900 rides monthly. In support of community needs, the Quaboag Connector will offer Saturday service and support the launch of two pilot projects focused on the implementation of scheduling software and establishing a fixed route shuttle along Route 9.
“Since 2017, Baystate Wing Hospital and the Baystate Mary Lane medical staff have invested $170,000 in the Quaboag Connector,” said Sheila Cuddy, executive director of the QVCDC. “This service is a lifeline for many members of our community. QVCDC is grateful for the sustaining support from Baystate Wing Hospital and their staff for this initiative.”