January 14, 2013 (Brockton, MA and Lawrence, MA) —Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) and Partners HealthCare today announced they are providing a total of $4.25 million in a first round of grants through the Partnership for Community Health to all 49 community health centers (CHCs) that are members of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers (“the League”). Two announcements were made, one at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center and one at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, two of the 49 first-round grantees.

The CHCs have each chosen a project related to infrastructure improvement that will allow them to continue their efforts to reduce barriers to access, promote health equity and provide care for patients in their communities.  Every CHC in Massachusetts that applied received a grant.

During the next 15 years, the Partnership for Community Health will provide up to $90 million in grant funding to CHCs to develop and launch measurable programs that enhance health outcomes, service, efficiencies and quality of care. Grants will focus on projects that support expanded programs and improve the infrastructure of CHCs. 
In this first round of funding, grants were awarded in four categories:

  • Health Information Technology Reporting: For the purchase, implementation and training of staff on new information technology systems designed to enhance patient care and improve patient health through the collection and application of valid and timely health data. 
  • Meaningful Use Training: For staff training on how to meet a core set of federally-mandated objectives for using health technology to improve the delivery of health care and the health outcomes of patients. Under the national health reform law, achieving Meaningful Use determines whether a health care organization can receive incentive payments from the federal government for care provided to Medicaid and Medicare patients.
  • Medical Coding Training: To assist health centers in meeting new coding requirements established by the Affordable Care Act.  This funding provides clinicians with the necessary knowledge and skills for accurately documenting the complexity of care among their patient populations, and to ensure the necessary revenue to support that care.   
  • Training and Capacity Building for Performance Improvement: To provide opportunities for health center staff teams to participate in structured Performance Improvement programs.  These teams gain the knowledge and competencies critical for building and sustaining quality improvement across their organizations.  
     “Neighborhood Health Plan’s mission is rooted in providing better access to health care for underserved populations throughout the state,” said NHP President and CEO Deborah C. Enos. “This first round of grants is vital in our effort to enhance our support for the community health centers that care for so many of our members.”

“Community health centers are a cornerstone of an accessible, high-quality, and cost-effective health care delivery system, particularly for the underserved,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, President and CEO, Partners HealthCare. “The Partnership for Community Health is a crucial initiative that will support the state’s community health centers for years come in serving the needs of patients across the Commonwealth.”

"This first round of grants will help CHCs prepare for the changes that health reform has brought, while allowing them to continue delivering their innovative care to the more than 800,000 patients they serve statewide,” said the League’s President and CEO James W. Hunt, Jr.

“NHP, Partners, and the League’s support helps us in our efforts to provide the best possible care available to our patients,” said Executive Director of Brockton Neighborhood Health Center Sue Joss.  “We look forward to using the grant funding to serve the needs of Brockton’s diverse population.”

“We are grateful for this funding and the long-term impact it will have on the health and well-being of the patients we serve," said Robert Ingala, CEO of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. 

After the first round of grants, the CHCs will be eligible to apply for grants through a competitive application process.

The following 49 CHCs received a first round grant:

  1. Baystate Medical Center Health Centers, Springfield
  2. Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
  3. Bowdoin Street Health Center, Dorchester
  4. Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
  5. Brookside Community Health Center, Jamaica Plain
  6. Cambridge Health Alliance Health Centers, Cambridge, Somerville, Malden and Revere
  7. Caring Health Center, Springfield
  8. CHP Health Center, Great Barrington, Lee and Pittsfield
  9. Codman Square Health Center, Dorchester
  10. Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Falmouth, Mashpee and Bourne
  11. Community Health Center of Franklin County, Greenfield, Orange and Turners Falls
  12. Community Health Connections Family Health Centers, Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster
  13. Dimock Community Health Center, Roxbury
  14. Dorchester House Multi-Service Center
  15. Duffy Health Center, Hyannis
  16. East Boston Neighborhood Health Center
  17. Edward M Kennedy Community Health Center, Worcester, Framingham and Clinton
  18. Family Health Center of Worcester
  19. Fenway Community Health Center, Boston
  20. Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Dorchester
  21. Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
  22. Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
  23. Greater Roslindale Medical & Dental Center
  24. Harbor Community Health Center - Hyannis, Hyannis and Harwich
  25. Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, Dorchester
  26. HealthFirst Family Care Center, Fall River
  27. Hilltown Community Health Centers, Huntington and Worthington
  28. Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke and Chicopee
  29. Island Health Care, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
  30. Joseph M Smith Community Health Center, Allston and Waltham
  31. Lowell Community Health Center
  32. Lynn Community Health Center
  33. Manet Community Health Center, Quincy and Hull
  34. Martha Eliot Health Center, Jamaica Plain
  35. Mattapan Community Health Center
  36. MGH Community Health Associates Health Centers, Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett and Revere
  37. Neponset Health Center, Dorchester
  38. North End Waterfront Health, Boston
  39. North Shore Community Health, Peabody, Salem and Gloucester
  40. Outer Cape Health Services, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown and Wellfleet
  41. Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center
  42. South Boston Community Health Center
  43. South Cove Community Health Center, Chinatown and Quincy
  44. South End Community Health Center, Boston
  45. Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center
  46. Springfield Health Services for the Homeless
  47. The Family HealthCare Center at SSTAR, Fall River
  48. Upham's Corner Health Center, Dorchester
  49. Whittier Street Health Center, Roxbury

Read media coverage of this announcement:

The Boston Globe

The Brockton Enterprise

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune