- Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $20M to Community Health Centers for Climate-focused Capital Improvement Projects
Cecille Joan Avila, Media Relations Manager
BOSTON — Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced $20 million in grants awarded to community health centers (CHCs) in Massachusetts as part of the state’s Community Health Center Capital Investment Grant Program. The grants will go to four competitively selected CHCs to support capital projects that address the intersection between climate change and a person’s health. Funded projects involve the use of climate adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation strategies while making facility or technology upgrades that improve patient access and quality of care.
“Our administration is committed to making sure that people can get high-quality health care where and when they need it,” said Governor Maura Healey. "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.”
“We are excited that these awards not only support physical investments for the CHC, but they are also investments in the people they serve,” said Lt. Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “The health of all of our communities benefit when CHCs can serve more people and become more energy efficient."
CHCs in Massachusetts provide care to over one 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. CHCs provide essential care to MassHealth members, including primary and preventive services as well as mental health and substance use disorder support.
“The Commonwealth is committed to supporting health care providers who deliver health care services that meet the needs of high-risk communities and populations where they are,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh. “Not only do these community health centers provide critical care to families and individuals that would otherwise have limited access to services, but these climate resilience projects also reflect the CHC’s commitment to healthy communities.”
“Community health centers provide affordable health care and social services to vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth, and it is essential that we support the capital projects and improvements of CHCs to help them in the delivery of these services,” said Assistant Secretary Mike Levine. “We are proud to partner with health centers that have invested in climate risk mitigation in recognition of climate change’s impact on population health.”
The following organizations will each receive grants in the amount of $5 million:
- Brockton Neighborhood Health Center will expand services, including their harm reduction clinic, vision care, and an adult primary care services. Additionally, they will be using the funds to replace a number of heat pumps in the health center with more energy-efficient models.
- Community Health Center of Cape Cod will open a new location to provide greater access to patients on the Cape. The new facility will be LEED silver certified, helping to mitigate climate impacts, and will include low-income housing units to support the community and workforce.
- East Boston Neighborhood Health Center will use grant funding to expand their location in East Boston while also improving climate resiliency in the community. The expanded site will be LEED certified and include solar panels and rainwater capture, helping to mitigate heat island effects and potential flooding.
- Greater Lawrence Family Health Center will expand their current site, including their 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.
“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.”
“Brockton Neighborhood Health Center is so grateful for this capital grant from the state,” said Brockton Neighborhood Health Center CEO, Sue Joss. “This funding will enable us to move forward quickly on planned construction to expand our eye services, primary care services for adults, and harm reduction services for substance use disorder. The demand for these vital services is surging in Greater Brockton as our patient population continues to reach record levels, and this will allow us to provide everyone the care they need and deserve. The grant will also fund replacement of some aging heat pumps with new pumps that will be more reliable and energy efficient.”
“Community Health Center of Cape Cod currently cares for over 25,000 members of our Upper Cape Cod community and a growing population in Sandwich. Funding received through this incredible opportunity will bring much-needed primary care, specialty and critical enabling services all, including those most vulnerable in our community,” said Karen Gardner, Chief Executive Officer at Community Health Center of Cape Cod. “We are thrilled to partner with EOHHS to expand access for thousands through this project!”
“This investment in East Boston Neighborhood Health Center is an investment in our community,” said Greg Wilmot, President and CEO of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. “As the largest community-based primary care health system in Massachusetts, expanding access to care for our patients is a top priority. We are grateful for these critical funds that will allow us to better support the needs of all of our underserved patients and families for years to come, providing high-quality, compassionate care close to where they live and work.”
“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, President and CEO of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. “Many have shown that fragmented care delivery produces worse outcomes. With this $5M 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!”
This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and is in addition to $50 million in grants that previously went out to 35 CHCs to fund capital improvement projects.