Worcester, MA – Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Secretary Marylou Sudders and Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty were among local and statewide leaders who helped mark the unveiling of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers’ (the League) new training facility in the City of Worcester on Tuesday, June 19.
The James W. Hunt, Jr. Training and Learning Center will be part of a broader strategy to attract, develop and retain a diverse and well-trained workforce to improve the health and well-being of individuals and families served by community health centers. The building was dedicated to the organization's President & CEO James W. Hunt, Jr., a longtime proponent of establishing a training and education center of excellence for the state’s 52 health center organizations with over 300 health care access points.
The recently renovated facility features several meeting rooms and upgraded distance-learning technology, and will make training more accessible to health centers located in the central and western regions of the state. Programming will promote quality care initiatives, offer and manage clinician loan repayment and professional development, strengthen health center financial operations, expand Family Medicine and Nurse Practitioner residencies at health centers, support health information technology development, and build approaches for documenting and disseminating health center best practices.
Also honored was Patricia Edraos, who retired as the League’s Director of Health Resources and Policy in March of this year. Over her 36-year career, Edraos made countless and lasting contributions to strengthening Massachusetts community health centers through her regulatory, legislative and policy work, which included securing resources for important health center workforce initiatives.
EOHHS Secretary Sudders, who oversees the state’s health and human service agencies including the Medicaid program, MassHealth, spoke about the importance of a well-trained community health workforce in improving the health of patients. EOHHS has contracted with the League to develop and implement seven community-based primary care and behavioral health workforce programs as part of MassHealth’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program.
Partners HealthCare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation each provided $25,000 in seed funding to expand the scope and reach of the League's workforce programming.
Other speakers included Worcester State Representative James O’Day, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation President Audrey Shelto, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Tim Murray, League Board Chair and Brockton Neighborhood Health Center CEO Sue Joss, and Family Health Center of Worcester CEO Frances Anthes.