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HealthCorps members begin another program year

11-13-09 Feature Story:

Seventeen new AmeriCorps Community HealthCorps members began their year of service in September. HealthCorps members, participating at 11 health centers across Massachusetts, volunteer to serve through nonprofit organizations focused on increasing health access for vulnerable and underserved residents.

Since many of the members have no previous exposure to health centers, the League's HealthCorps program provides them with an on-the-ground view of health centers and the importance of primary care. During their year, all HealthCorps members will be providing both programmatic and administrative support to the health centers in which they serve. Specifically, members will be involved in Sports and Society (a new program introduced this year with the Northeastern University; its purpose is to prevent childhood obesity), Reach Out and Read, Women's Health, JP Fit, Team Mita, Medical Home Initiative, Girl Talk, and outreach to Career Centers and Food Pantries. Members will also provide support to flu clinics held at health centers throughout Massachusetts.

Two HealthCorps members have come to serve in Massachusetts from as far away as Montana and California. Two other HealthCorps members Emily Chen and Justin Oldfield have already been accepted to Tufts University School of Medicine for next year.

Sponsoring health centers for the 2009-2010 program year include Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Brookside Community Health Center, Codman Square Health Center, Fenway Community Health Center, Harbor Health Services, Martha Eliot Health Center, Manet Community Health Center, Mattapan Community Health Center, Neponset Health Center, South End Community Health Center and Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center.

The AmeriCorps Community HealthCorps program, founded by the National Association of Community Health Centers, attracts recruits from diverse racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds who have an interest in community-based health care. Volunteers are paid small stipends, which are shared by the program and the health center service site. For more information on the League's Community HealthCorps program, contact Janice Brathwaite.

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