Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is one of four community health centers to receive money from the Commonwealth to support capital projects that address the intersection between climate change and a person’s health.
The health centers will evenly split $20 million to fund projects involving the use of climate adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation strategies while making facility or technology upgrades that improve patient access and quality of care, according to Gov. Maura Healey.
“Our administration is committed to making sure that people can get high-quality health care where and when they need it,” Healey said. “These grants are only the beginning of our efforts to ensure that community health centers have the support they need to continue to be at the forefront of addressing the interconnection of climate change and health outcomes.”
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) will use its $5 million portion to expand its largest location in Lawrence, including its harm reduction clinic, dental services, and on-site pharmacy. The expansion will utilize solar panels and storage to improve clean energy utilization in the community.
“On behalf of the wonderful staff of the Greater Lawrence Family Heath Center, we are honored and humble to be a finalist for the EOHHS Capital Grant,” said Guy L. Fish, MD, MBA, President and CEO of GLFHC. “Many have shown that fragmented care delivery produces worse outcomes. With this $5 million award, we will be able to fully integrate medical, behavioral, and dental services with our harm reduction services to deliver care to our population caught up in substance use. The impact will be substantial. We are thrilled!”
In Massachusetts community health centers provide care to more than 1 million residents, including those in many underserved communities, and are key to ensuring access to care for MassHealth members, reducing health disparities, and ensuring individuals stay insured. Essential services include primary and preventive care, as well as mental health and substance use disorder support.
“With primary care access at a crisis level, it is critical that we continue to grow the state’s primary care capacity, especially in our most underserved communities,” said Michael Curry, President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “This initiative takes short-term funding and invests it in capital improvements at health centers that will yield a return on investment in improved health and lower costs for decades. We are grateful to the Legislature and the Healey-Driscoll administration for their foresight in making this high-impact investment in our state’s future.”
This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and is in addition to $50 million in grants that went out to 35 community health centers to fund capital improvement projects.
The other three community health centers receiving the grant are Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Community Health Center of Cape Cod, and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.