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COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative: Investment in community health centers

A public-private partnership to expand vaccination infrastructure and build capacity at community health centers, including support for community health workers to promote vaccine confidence and acceptance among patients and community members.

Table of Contents


The Department of Public Health (DPH) is partnering with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to distribute funding to Community Health Centers to support outreach and increased access to vaccination. Funding will be used by the health centers to support critical workforce and equipment needs and outreach, education and navigation support.

The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (MLCHC) and 42 Community Health Centers receive funding under this component of the Vaccine Equity Initiative beginning in April 2021. Some of these Community Health Centers work across multiple communities, and some may be funded under more than one component of the Vaccine Equity Initiative. See below for details about the community health centers.

Specific efforts

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Community Engagement Campaign
    • Supports a specialized outreach campaign to engage populations facing structural barriers to vaccination: Black and Latinx residents; Portuguese speakers; and immigrants from China, Vietnam, Haiti, Cambodia, Cape Verde, East Africa and the Middle East.
    • Campaign messaging is customized, reflecting the specific questions and concerns of different populations.
    • Supports the development of videos which feature community health providers telling their own experiences of the pandemic, addressing specific questions and concerns surrounding the vaccine, and emphasizing why they are recommending the vaccine to their family, friends and patients.
    • These materials will be used by Community Health Worker Ambassadors as part of the initiative described below.
  • Community Health Worker Ambassadors
    • Provide Community Health Workers with the tools and technical assistance needed to increase vaccine confidence. Community Health Workers engage patients and community members in vaccine discussions resulting in increased COVID-19 vaccination rates among populations who have historically been insufficiently served.
    • See below for a list of Community Health Centers receiving funding for this program.
  • Workforce and Infrastructure Investments – Immediate
    • Provide health centers with support for infrastructure demands of building out a COVID-19 vaccination effort at individual Community Health Centers. Funding for staff support, systems and equipment. Examples include: scheduling software, phone systems, mobile & pop-up vaccination equipment, computers and printers, and furniture.
  • Workforce and Infrastructure Investments – Additional
    • Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers will assess health centers’ vaccine infrastructure and workforce capacity needs by June 1, 2021.The assessment will identify new unanticipated expenses due to expedited eligibility in the vaccine roll-out. Based on information from the assessment, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers will announce a rolling application and review process to assist centers with their emergent vaccine program needs.
  • Deploy Best Practice Playbook for Vaccine Services
    • Provide project management, consulting and staffing resources to the Community Health Centers to support deployment of best practice toolkit to support vaccine acceptance, access and administration.
Amount $6.1M ($1M from FY21 state appropriations - through June 2021 + 5.1M through FY22)

$3.1M February 2022
Led by Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
Relevant dates Rolling approval & funding


Public/private partnership: In addition to these public funds, the Mass. League of Community Health Centers has raised $4.4 million from private donors to create the Mass. League & Community Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine & Recovery Fund (VRF). The goal of the VRF is to support health centers’ ability to meet the various challenges related to COVID-19 vaccine distribution, while also ensuring equity.

Donors supporting this additional private investment include the Barr Foundation, Barbara and Amos Hostetter, the Klarman Family Foundation, the Boston Foundation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Trefler Foundation. Community health worker ambassador program funding includes $25,000* per Community Health Center through June 2021, with an additional $25,000 for FY22. Together, these public and private funds are providing health centers with essential resources to promote COVID-19 vaccination.

*funded through a public-private partnership

Funded Community Health Centers

Community Health Center Municipalities Funding
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Boston $105,000
Upham’s Corner Health Center Boston $130,000
Codman Square Health Center Boston $195,000
Dothouse Health Boston $104,653
Bowdoin Street Health Center Boston $35,000
South Boston Community Health Center Boston $201,147
Fenway Community Health Center Boston $102,460
South Cove Community Health Center Boston $75,000
Connecticut River Valley Farmworker Health Program Boston $48,000
MGH Community Health Associates Boston $75,000
NEW Health Center Boston $205,000
Brookside Community Health Center Boston (Jamaica Plain) $100,000
Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center Boston (Jamaica Plain) $125,000
Whittier Street Health Center Boston (Roxbury) $125,000
Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center Boston (Dorchester) $140,000
Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center Boston (Roslindale) $170,857
Harbor Health Services Incorporated Boston (Mattapan) $180,000
Mattapan Community Health Center Boston (Mattapan) $54,255
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center East Boston $125,000
Brockton Neighborhood Health Center Brockton $205,000
Cambridge Health Alliance Everett, Malden, Revere $75,000
Island Health Care Edgartown $150,000
HealthFirst Family Care Center Fall River $146,773
SSTAR Family Healthcare Center Fall River $125,000
Community Health Connections Family Health Center Fitchburg, Leominster $226,556
Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center Framingham $147,500
Community Health Programs Great Barrington $80,000
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen $195,100
Holyoke Health Center, Inc. Holyoke $182,000
Duffy Health Center Hyannis $111,000
Lowell Community Health Center Lowell $176,825
Lynn Community Health Center Lynn $189,228
Community Health Center of Cape Cod Mashpee $143,201
Greater New Bedford Community Health Center New Bedford $209,288
Manet Community Health Center North Quincy $70,000
Community Health Center of Franklin County Orange $75,000
Outer Cape Health Services Provincetown $108,260
North Shore Community Health Center Salem $130,000
Caring Health Center, Inc. Springfield $249,978
Family Health Center of Worcester Worcester $55,000
Community Healthlink Inc. Worcester $50,000
Hilltown Community Health Center Worthington $125,000

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