HCN News & Notes

Baystate Wing Hospital Awards QVCDC $30,000 Grant

PALMER — Baystate Wing Hospital awarded a $30,000 grant to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. (QVCDC) to support the Quaboag Connector, a new transportation service for transportation to and from work and the workforce-training program in Ware offered by Holyoke Community College (HCC). In addition to providing transportation to employment and the college site, community members will also have access to the Quaboag Connector for transportation to and from medical visits and cultural activities.

The lack of public transportation has been a long-standing problem in the Quaboag Hills region, said Sheila Cuddy, executive director of the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. and the Quaboag Valley Business Assistance Corp.

“The college, through a partnership with many local employers and institutions, will allow our community to locally access workforce training and credit-bearing degree-path classes,” she said. “We are thankful to Baystate Wing Hospital for making a thoughtful and responsive investment in the community that will help residents lead fuller and more self-sufficient lives. We are proud that they are a community partner. QVCDC had an earlier commitment from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for the $81,000 Quaboag Connector budget. The award from Baystate Wing Hospital Corporation allows us to meet the matching requirement, which is very exciting news for the community. Their investment secures the funding for this new transportation service that will become an important resource for the region.”

Michael Moran, president and chief administrative officer of Baystate Health’s Eastern Region, which includes Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing hospitals, noted that “transportation can provide the link to essential opportunities that can have a profound influence on health and quality of life. We are delighted to partner with and support the QVCDC with this $30,000 grant for this innovative and impactful initiative. Health and wellness are influenced by the places in which people live, learn, work, and play. Baystate Health is strongly committed to Ware and the many communities in our region and will continue to work with community partners to focus on programs and initiatives that promote wellness, education, and workforce development, and improve access to care.”

Baystate Health’s Eastern Region and the QVCDC represent 15 communities with a population of approximately 115,000 people.

The QVCDC has worked with the town of Ware to obtain a van donated by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, and the state Department of Transportation has provided funding support to operate the van.

Holyoke Community College has held four ServSafe classes which were attended by 40 students at the Ware site, and plans to expand the offerings to include the full Culinary and Hospitality Suite, Manufacturing and Production Technician classes, Home Health Aide classes, and EMT Basic Training classes. Enrichment courses for the general community, such as Retirement Planning, First Aid, and CPR, are scheduled to start in the spring.

“Our physicians, nurses, and team members all strive to influence the health of the people we serve through exceptional care and innovative health initiatives,” said Moran. “I am privileged to lead our outstanding team of professionals that are committed to the health of our community members.”

Details and logistics about the Quabaog Connector transportation service are being worked out, and information will be made available to the public in the near future.

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