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Newsroom - July

Health Center Speaker Series Kicks Off Discussion About Factors Limiting Access to Health Care | WHAV, July 11, 2022
Addressing health inequity means dealing with issues that extend beyond what happens in doctors' offices. This was among conclusions drawn recently during "Health Equity Matters," the first in an ongoing series of community discussions hosted by Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. Inequities in education, work opportunities, economic gaps, institutionalized racism and other social determinants of health play a large factor in the medical health of individuals and families, said Michael Curry, CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "We don't connect those dots very well. And, they all impact health," Curry said. "All of us want to live healthy‚Ķall of us want a great job, a great education, a great career. So, something happened along the way that made that not possible for millions of Americans." Read more »

State officials are pondering reducing COVID-19 reporting frequency to weekly, July 6, 2022
State officials are considering reducing the frequency of reporting of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations, and other data, numbers that have been closely followed by many Massachusetts residents during the pandemic. Officials are engaged in internal discussions and giving "serious consideration" to reducing the reporting from five days a week to once a week, said Dr. Catherine Brown, state epidemiologist at the Department of Public Health. Brown explained that when the pandemic began more than two years ago, daily reporting was necessary because officials "were trying to make everybody aware of what was happening" and the need to take measures such as social distancing and wearing masks. Read more »

'What's on your mind?': Massachusetts call centers, mental health provider ready for rollout of national 988 hotline, July 4, 2022
With 988, a nationwide mental health hotline going live July 16, agencies that will take the calls are staffing up and advocates are looking forward to a streamlined way for people in crisis to get help. The three-digit number is expected to be easier to remember and access than the existing national Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The advent of 988 does not mean the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline goes away. Dialing either number will route callers to the same services, no matter which number they use, according to the state. But questions remain ahead of the January 2023 launch of community mental health centers expected to help those callers, said Katherine Mague, senior vice president at Behavioral Health Network in Springfield. BHN is the local emergency services provider now, and hopes to win a contract to be one of the local one-stop community mental health centers under the state's new behavioral health roadmap. Read more »