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Leaving the legacy of a healthier community

Leaving the legacy of a healthier community
Dr. Azzie Young (l), president and CEO of the Mattapan Community Health Center, stands with the Center’s Chief Financial Officer, Guale Valdez, at the site of the new building now under construction at 1575 Blue Hill Ave. in Mattapan Square. When completed in the summer of 2012, the new “green” building will house a CVS Pharmacy and a branch of Citizen’s Bank. (Photo: Don West)

“I am happy to contribute to what will be a showstopper in Mattapan,” says Horace Shearer about his contribution to the Buy-A-Brick campaign for Mattapan Community Health Center.  He has worked at the Mattapan Community Health Center lab for 20 years. “I’ve seen the center at its lowest ebb. This is definitely a high point. Buying a brick is a small way to contribute. It will be a boom to this community.”

Due to the contributions of community members like Shearer, bricks are now being purchased for the Community Wall of Donors that will flank the new facility and be visible along Blue Hill Avenue.  

“I gave because I believe in the mission of Mattapan Community Health Center and what it is trying to do. It’s amazing what they are doing — providing quality health care and behavioral health services. There will be a pharmacy there, something we take for granted in other communities,” says Dr. Kermit Crawford, director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health at Boston Medical Center.

All that’s missing from Mattapan Community Health Center’s Community Wall of Donors is the name of your family, organization or business. “The Community Wall of Donors will be a lasting legacy, tangible proof that the community rallied behind and supported the new Mattapan Community Health Center facility with their hard-earned dollars. We appreciate the community’s support,” says Dr. Azzie Young, MCHC president and CEO.

Every brick purchased will enable the health center to meet a $500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation. To date, MCHC has raised some $33 million and have about one million dollars more to go to complete the capital campaign. The campaign goal is $12 million.

Now — the new Mattapan Community Health Center is rising like a phoenix in Mattapan Square. When completed in the summer of 2012, the environmentally friendly, four-story building will be 50,000-square-feet, doubling the number of patients it serves and tripling the number of visits. The health center will have expanded laboratory space and will bring a pharmacy (CVS) to Mattapan Square for the first time in more than 30 years.

“It provides job opportunities in this community,” Shearer notes.  “It is a learning opportunity for youngsters as they are able to see the nurses and doctors and other staff providing care.” Jobs may not be the first thing that pops to mind when thinking about the new facility, but job creation and economic development have been part of the health center’s benefit to the community since it opened in 1972. MCHC is the largest employer in Mattapan. The construction of the new health center has already created more than 200 jobs and once completed, the new building will bring 40 to 90 new permanent positions, plus existing staff.

“I bought a brick because I believe in helping people,” says Maureen Kyriacos, a systems analyst. “I believe in service. I wish I could buy more bricks. It is amazing to see the center moving from one existence to another.”

How you can help

More than 500 bricks are available to complete the Community Wall of Donors. Buy a brick today to ensure that your support is visible when this state-of-the-art health center opens. Each brick can have three lines of text up to 18 characters. The bricks cost $200 and $500 depending on their placement in the wall. To buy a brick, visit or call 617-898-9049.