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Healthy model

September 10, 2014


A two-year, $8 million expansion plan at the Family Health Center of Worcester came to fruition on Monday with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony that illustrates the effectiveness of the city's approach to meeting the health care needs of many poor and immigrant residents.

Since its founding 40 years ago, Family Health Center has been a vital resource for many Worcester residents, and one whose role has continued to grow. When officials realized that more space and services were needed, they looked around the city and found their answer in the very building they have occupied since 1991.

The new examination rooms, an optometry lab, and a larger pharmacy mean that more clients can be served. The facility's dental clinic has also been expanded. The final touches will include updating flooring and lighting.

The success of the Family Health Center is grounded first and foremost in the dedicated medical personnel who staff it, including a model, collaborative approach, in which medical students from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and from MCPHS University are invited to work at the center, gaining clinical experience.

Even the funding of this expansion project shows creativity, combining private fundraising, federal funds, and donations from nonprofit organizations.

Worcester has long been known for the quality of its medical facilities and research. The city is blessed with high-profile specialists, brilliant researchers authoring important papers, and labs that may produce the next breakthrough cure.

But equally important, and in some ways more heroic, are the doctors, nurses and support personnel at places like Family Health Center and the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center. Day in and day out, they serve the neediest Worcester residents, overcoming barriers of finance and language, to alleviate suffering and improve the lives of individuals and families alike.

Their work is one important and indispensable pathway to a stronger community and nation.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

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