Included in 1512 ReportNot in 1512 Report

Awarded Funds to Date:

$22.8 Million 1.54 Billion*

Total Committed or Under Contract:

$11.2 Million 1.46 Billion*

Expended Funds to Date:

$8.3 Million 1.46 Billion*
*Note: $1.54 billion has been awarded, $1.46 billion has been committed and expended as part of the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that are part of the General Funds of the Commonwealth and are not part of the Federal ARRA reporting requirements.

Maritza Ortiz: A Health Center Expands to Care for its Community

For Maritza Ortiz, and the many employees of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center who live in Lawrence, the Center is a vibrant hub of their community, a hub that the increasing population was rapidly outgrowing.

The need to expand the site was evident to anyone involved in the Center. The expansion plans were put into place, a site was located for additional parking but the Center didn't have funds for the whole project. A stimulus award of nearly $1.5 million is what is enabling the expansion plans to go through.

"I think the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center North Side expansion means that there will be opportunities to receive more patients, to be able to provide medical care not only for a nursing visit, but for physicals and for primary care to a family," says Ortiz.

Ortiz has been working at the Health Center's North Site for 23 years. Currently she is the Supervisor of Patient Service Representatives. "It's an honor to see that I'm still a part of the growth of what it has done for the community. For me as a person, I have grown within Greater Lawrence Family Health Center," says Ortiz who came to the US from Ecuador at the age of seven and returned right after high school. She came found a job and a home at the Health Center.

"For me, to come back and have this opportunity to grow within Greater Lawrence has been a tremendous experience," says Ortiz. She adds, "It is an honor to see that tomorrow we will still be here and we'll be here with many, many more opportunities not only for medical care but also for jobs."

Departments within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services have been awarded $22.7 million in direct ARRA grants. The funded projects assist disadvantaged populations in securing or retaining employment, providing resources to expand and support local public health infrastructure, and delivering a range of support resources for families hardest hit by the recession.

The programmatic and economic highlights for ARRA grants include the following:

The Federal share of Medicaid Assistance (FMAP) was increased when ARRA was passed in February of 2009. Massachusetts now receives a 61.59% reimbursement from the Federal government for Medicaid spending. Enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance provided under ARRA extends through 2010.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) has received over $3.2 million in ARRA financing to improve Massachusetts' public health infrastructure. These include programs to expand, study, or enhance existing critical disease surveillance, identification, and response systems that are now underway.

Additionally, nearly 8,000 children with developmental delay or disabilities and their families have been served by the DPH Early Intervention program. This has been possible through $8.5 million in ARRA funding that enables DPH to maintain service and eligibility levels for children and families.

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs distributed over $2.5 million in ARRA financing to support the delivery of home meals and other nutrition support services for elders. These resources go directly to families in the Commonwealth who are impacted by the recession and are working to care for their elders in home settings on stretched family finances.

The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) moved quickly to streamline business processes to handle an unprecedented increase in enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, within the last year. Increased benefits due to the stimulus have helped more than 390,000 families (over 725,000 individuals). These benefits will generate a projected total of approximately $416 million in local production, sales, and jobs for the Commonwealth between October 2009 and September 2010.

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) have completed the planning phase of several long-term ARRA-supported investments. MCB is poised to make a grant to support the development of a mobile eye care van for senior residents. MRC will also invest in a new information technology system to improve case management for MRC clients. Both departments have hired a number of program staff to work in and oversee MRC and MCB programs. In both departments, ARRA dollars are working in the Commonwealth to bring resources, independence, and self-sufficiency to those most in need of assistance.

In November, Governor Patrick visited Washington, DC to meet with officials to discuss opportunities for Massachusetts to develop health information technology projects with funding from the Recovery Act. This potential investment of federal funding will allow Massachusetts to continue to play a national leadership role in using state-of-the-art technologies to transform the way we provide care to patients. Electronic medical records and e-health technology are key to driving down the cost of health care. The secure exchange of health information is also vital to effective treatment and prevention strategies that will greatly benefit patients in Massachusetts. Details on an ARRA award to help fund these technology upgrades will be confirmed by early February of this year.

Created January 29, 2010. Information provided by the Recovery & Reinvestment Office.