NORTHAMPTON — After discussions with its board of trustees and in the spirit of collaboration, Cooley Dickinson Health Care announced it will commit $10,000 per year in a cash contribution to the city of Northampton for three years (2016, 2017, 2018). While Cooley Dickinson hopes the funds support the health and wellness of Northampton residents, the gesture should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program.
In a letter that Joanne Marqusee, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, gave to Mayor David Narkewicz at a May 31 meeting, Marqusee acknowledged the “challenging times” for municipal budgets as well as for nonprofit organizations’ budgets. Reimbursement models are changing, and hospitals are under increasing pressure to keep costs affordable.
“The city of Northampton, its residents, elected officials, businesses, and nonprofit institutions all have a stake in Northampton’s success and a responsibility to work together for the good of the community,” she wrote, noting that Cooley Dickinson already provides approximately $78,000 in staff and supplies that directly benefit the city of Northampton. “It is our hope that the additional $10,000 per year cash contribution will be used for public-health initiatives which align with the mission of Cooley Dickinson Health Care.”
Cooley Dickinson’s mission is to serve the healthcare needs of area residents. In the city of Northampton, Cooley Dickinson fulfills this mission in many ways, including providing free care to people who are underinsured or otherwise cannot afford the care they need; providing a portion of supplies used on city ambulances, including pharmaceuticals; funding the salaries of athletic trainers at Northampton High School and Smith Vocational High School; and providing discounted rent to Western Mass. EMS and Greenfield Community College’s nursing program.
Cooley Dickinson’s first contribution of the three-year commitment will be provided to the city of Northampton later in June.