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Newsroom - February

Many Mass. hospitals are short-staffed. The culprit may not be a shortage of nurses

wbur.org, February 28, 2022
There's a lot of talk about a shortage of nurses and other hospital staff during the pandemic, a shortage that means patients sometimes wait in hallways until a bed opens up, or have to reschedule surgery. But state numbers show there are more licensed nurses now, in almost every category, than before the pandemic. Read more »

Community health centers: One year of vaccinating the nation's most vulnerable

thehill.com, February 23, 2022
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in public health and economic crises on a scale most Americans have never experienced in their lifetimes, while laying bare critical vulnerabilities in the nation’s public health system. As we continue to examine how we can improve the ongoing coronavirus response and better prepare ourselves for any future public health crisis, it is essential that we understand the failures that occurred and recognize our triumphs. Read more »

In warning to U.S., COVID rates soar after Denmark lifts all restrictions

yahoo.com, February 16, 2022
Community health centers were started about 50 years ago as an innovation in the medical care system that allowed mainly low-income urban and rural Americans access to primary care providers. When the neighborhoods of Boston lost much of their middle class populations to the suburbs, they also lost the private physicians who followed their patients to the suburbs. Unable to get access to medical care, new city residents turned to emergency rooms for their basic health care needs. This was seen as both a misuse of emergency rooms and bad for any continuity of care. Read more »

Federal government makes a push for community health centers to provide virtual health services beyond the pandemic

cnn.com, February 10, 2022
The Biden administration is making another push for telehealth and other digital disease-monitoring tools to become sustainable beyond the pandemic. The US Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that it's giving nearly $55 million to improve access to community health centers that have played a vital role in patient care as the country faced Covid-19. Read more »

Boston schools mask mandate will stay in place beyond state's Feb. 28 end date, Wu says

bostonglobe.com, February 10, 2022
The Boston Public Health Commission is looking at some of the same metrics they are tracking for city-wide indoor vaccine and mask requirements: What share of tests are coming back positive, how many people are being hospitalized, and how close ICUs are to their capacity. Read more »

Boston Public Radio full show: Feb. 9, 2022

wgbh.org, February 9, 2022
Michael Curry shared his thoughts on Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to lift a statewide school mask mandate on Feb. 28. Read more »

The pandemic has led to a surge in mental health need in Mass., survey finds

wbur.org, February 8, 2022
The survey, commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, looked at behavioral health care needs and access to care from January of 2020 to March of 2021. Researchers found that more than one in three Massachusetts residents over the age of 19 reported needing behavioral health care for themselves or a close relative. Among those who reported needing care, 26% percent said they were not able to get it and 64% of those who said the pandemic exacerbated their need for behavioral health care services. Read more »

More than a third of Berkshire Medicaid enrollees don't have a dentist. CHP wants to change that

berkshireeagle.com, February 8, 2022
"It was shocking," said Brazill, director of dental programs at Community Health Programs. "We're trying to tell our patients, they need this work done before they end up with dentures." For thousands of patients enrolled in Medicaid, though, getting critical preventive care and other dental services is nearly impossible. Why? In no small part because there are not enough dentists willing to care for them, a gap that Community Health Programs wants to help close. Read more »

Four charts that show COVID's decline in Mass. after state saw 76% drop in cases in one month

masslive.com, February 4, 2022
Massachusetts reported 4,195 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. That's 2,986 fewer cases than the state reported last Friday as COVID levels continue to drop. New cases have of the virus have been dropping precipitously since the peak of the pandemic last month. Data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on cases by test date shows the state peaked on Jan. 3 with 36,234 positive cases from that day. Read more »

Dot's health center leaders discuss what they learned dealing with Covid

dotnews.com, February 2, 2022
Community health centers were started about 50 years ago as an innovation in the medical care system that allowed mainly low-income urban and rural Americans access to primary care providers. When the neighborhoods of Boston lost much of their middle class populations to the suburbs, they also lost the private physicians who followed their patients to the suburbs. Unable to get access to medical care, new city residents turned to emergency rooms for their basic health care needs. This was seen as both a misuse of emergency rooms and bad for any continuity of care. Read more »