West Location Receives $2 million for Expansion
PHOTO CAPTION: GLFHC has been awarded $2 million in federal funding to expand its West location in Lawrence. Pictured, from left, are State Reps. Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence) and Frank Moran (D-Lawrence); Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña; Congresswoman Lori Trahan; GLFHC West Medical Director Paul Esielionis, MD; GLFHC President & CEO Guy Fish, MD; and State Rep. Christina Minicucci (D-North Andover).
Media release courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Lori Trahan.
On April 21, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (Massachusetts 3rd District) joined state and community leaders at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) to announce $2 million in federal funding she secured to expand primary health services offered to patients at the 700 Essex Street, Lawrence location. Following the funding announcement, the group toured the facility and learned more about pending upgrades made possible by the federal investment.
“Before the pandemic, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center provided critical care that kept our community healthy and safe — but during the pandemic, it became a literal lifesaver,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “It’s hard to overstate just how essential the organization has been for families in Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverhill. That’s why I’m so proud to have secured $2 million in federal funds for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which will support expanded health services and strengthened care at its Essex Street facility. I’ll always be a strong advocate for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and health centers like it that provide critical care to our most vulnerable neighbors.”
“Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is so grateful to Congresswoman Lori Trahan for her selfless commitment to our health center staff and patients,” said Greater Lawrence Family Health Center CEO & President Guy Fish, MD. “This extraordinary funding will be transformational and allow us to expand one of our busiest sites in the city of Lawrence — expanding patient access to an additional 4,000 medically underserved patients who are in need of quality healthcare.”
GLFHC currently operates seven health center sites in Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverhill and has identified the need to expand services in the City of Lawrence. The Essex Street facility serves more than 8,000 patients, offering primary care services, opioid treatment, outreach and prevention, behavioral health services, family pharmacy services, and more. The patient population and demand in the area is growing, and the size of the facility must follow suit.
Recognizing this need, Trahan secured $2 million in funding during negotiations over the recently passed government funding package to create 4,000 square feet of new clinic space at its Essex Street site, perform necessary renovations to the existing space, and update medical equipment to expand patient and pharmacy access at one of its busiest clinical locations. In addition to the benefits to patients, the renovations and upgrades will create 20 new jobs in its first year after construction is completed.
Trahan was joined by Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña, State Reps. Frank Moran (D-Lawrence), Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence) and Christina Minicucci (D-North Andover), members of the Lawrence City Council, and GLFHC leaders and staff.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Trahan for her great commitment and leadership. If I can describe Lori in two words, it would be: support and resources because she continues to lead and fight for our communities from Washington,” said Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña. “Our population is growing quickly and so are our needs. Bringing resources to our community to expand our health care services is not only smart, but critical. Let’s continue moving our city forward!”
“I am incredibly grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Lori Trahan in securing $2 million in federal funding for the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center,” said State Rep. Frank Moran. “This critical funding will allow the health center to continue its mission of improving and maintaining the health of all individuals and families throughout the Merrimack Valley and I would like to thank Congresswoman Trahan for her ongoing commitment to the residents of Lawrence and beyond.”
“Securing this funding for GLFHC means that thousands of Lawrence families will receive vital care which would otherwise be impossible to get,” said State Rep. Marcos Devers. “When my family immigrated to Lawrence in 1987 we used GLFHC’s services, so I am proud to say that this project will further establish Lawrence as a regional leader in affordable care.”
“When faced with a challenge, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center doubles down and finds a solution,” said State Rep. Christina Minicucci. “During COVID, they took over a vacant retail space and quickly transformed it into a vaccine hub for the city and the whole Merrimack Valley. With this investment of $2 million, they will be able to transform it once again, this time into new medical space allowing them the ability to provide expanded health and wellness services to our community.”
GLFHC provides high quality health services to traditionally low income and non-English speaking individuals and families in Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverhill. The facilities have been key in the fight against COVID-19, first in testing for the virus and treating COVID-positive patients, and now in vaccination efforts. The health center has received nearly $11 million in COVID-19 relief funding, including $8.5 million awarded through the American Rescue Plan.
The health center was also one of the early participants in President Biden’s Community Health Center Vaccination Program and has administered over 140,000 vaccines since December 2020. Additionally, as the first teaching health center established in U.S. history, GLFHC continues to be instrumental in training medical professionals who will go on to serve vulnerable communities.