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Partnership for Community Health provides grants to community health centers throughout Massachusetts

Special Advertorial Health Section - Group consists of Partners HealthCare, Neighborhood Health Plan, and The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers

Partners HealthCare
Partnership for Community Health provides grants to community health centers throughout Massachusetts
Dr. Peter Slavin, left, joins Mayor Martin Walsh along with healthcare leaders at the Charlestown Health Center to present a grant to help combat opioid abuse. (Photo: Photo courtesy Partners HealthCare)

Community health centers are busy places and provide an anchor in many communities, as they provide care to their patients in a number of ways. Health centers are also familiar with challenges that their patients face and are always working to develop new and innovative ways to provide better care. That’s why Partners HealthCare and Neighborhood Health Plan in partnership with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (the Mass League), developed the Partnership for Community Health to encourage and support these kinds of innovations.

Most recently, the Partnership for Community Health awarded $6 million in Excellence and Innovation grants for community health centers statewide. Each of the twelve grant recipients have interesting projects that aim to address a particular need in their community. The MGH health centers received a grant of $540,000 that will be used to develop new and more effective ways to assist its patients experiencing chronic opioid abuse in Charlestown, Chelsea, Revere and Everett. The MGH Charlestown team gathered at the health center along with the other grant recipients and other special guests including: Mayor Martin J. Walsh, James Hunt, Jr. of the Mass League, Peter Slavin, MD of Massachusetts General Hospital, David Segal of Neighborhood Health Plan, Matthew Fishman of Partners HealthCare, and other health care leaders to celebrate these new, innovative initiatives. “The people of Boston deserve the right to access affordable, quality health care,” says Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The Partnership for Community Health initiative creates positive to change that helps ensure that access is available to all.”

The MGH Charlestown grant will help support ongoing efforts to identify at risk patients, track those patients over time, and improve care for patients on chronic opioid therapy. MGH Charlestown is hard at work to identify new approaches to address the opioid crisis that affects so many Massachusetts families and communities. “This grant is important to MGH Charlestown, but also to surrounding communities struggling similar issues,” says Sarah Wakeman, MD, Medical Director for Substance Use Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It also enables us to deliver the best care possible, as we are always striving to improve our treatment methods.”

Twelve community health centers were selected to receive the Excellence and Innovation grants. Other recipients of the grants included: Bowdoin Street Health Center, Caring Health Center, Codman Square Health Center, Community Health Center of Cape Cod, the Dimock Center, DotHouse Health, Mattapan Community Health Center, and others throughout the state. Additional examples of new, innovative health center initiatives supported by the grant are: developing care coordination call centers that make reminder calls to patients, developing teams of “quality navigators” to help patients engage in activities to prevent cancer and hypertension, working to create a telehealth initiative to support patients dealing with chronic health conditions, and many more.

Since the Partnership for Community Health launched in 2012, the Partnership has committed over $16 million in funding to community health centers. With these grants, community health centers reduce barriers to access, promote health equity, and provide care for patients in their communities. “Massachusetts Health Centers are a source of creativity and innovation and help shape the health care environment,” says James W. Hunt, Jr., President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “The Partnership for Community Health gives health centers the tools and resources they need to continue to improve advanced primary care.”

The Partnership for Community Health is important not only for the improvement of care, but also for the continuing growth of health centers and their staff. “Community Health Centers are an essential part of the health care ecosystem,” said MGH President Peter Slavin, MD. “Health centers enable us to better understand and meet the needs of our local communities. This grant initiative will foster new clinical innovations across Massachusetts – patients everywhere will benefit from the programs developed and the lessons we learn.”