Community Health Center Being Considered
By Kevin Rudden Staff Reporter/Columnist · June 30, 2011
A group of local organizations led by the Milford Regional Medical Center is studying how to improve access to basic medical care, including preventive care and screenings for the 6,000 uninsured or underinsured people in Milford. Their planning efforts may result in the creation of a community health center being built in Milford – possibly run by the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, which now operates similar facilities in Framingham and Worcester.
In February, the hospital announced that it had received a $124,500 "Health Care and Health Promotion Synergy Initiative" planning grant from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Inc. Using data from the Community Health Network Area (CHNA)-6's 2010 community health needs assessment conducted in Milford, the Greater Milford Health Access Coalition is working develop a pilot project to improve access to care for vulnerable residents, such as the working poor and underserved youth, children and elders.
The membership of the Greater Milford Health Access Coalition includes: Milford Regional Medical Center, Tri-River Family Health Center, Fallon Clinic, Tri-County Medical Associates, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, the Latino Health Insurance Program, Riverside Community Care, Community Impact, Juvenile Advocacy Group, Milford's Health Education and Advocacy for Latinos, the Milford Board of Health, and the Milford Senior Center.
Project director for the grant is Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, medical director of quality at Milford Regional Medical Center. In community meetings, hospital officials have discussed a one-year planning effort, followed by a one-year pilot program.
At a recent CHNA-6 meeting in Milford, the planning effort was discussed and mention was made of a possible partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health established the Community Health Network Area (CHNA) effort – local coalitions of public, non-profit, and private sectors working together to build healthier communities in Massachusetts – in 1992. The CHNA-6 serves the same communities as does Milford Regional Medical Center.