WALTHAM, MA –  Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) announced that she has secured funding in the Fiscal Year 2023 federal budget to improve and expand access to health care in Cambridge, Framingham, and Waltham.

“I’m thrilled to announce that more than $2 million is headed to Cambridge, Framingham, and Waltham to help train the next generation of health care providers and expand access to vital mental health services and substance use disorder treatment,” said Democratic Whip Katherine Clark. “I’m proud to have worked with our local leaders and community partners to identify these critical investments that will save lives and improve health outcomes throughout the Fifth District.”

“These investments to increase local residents’ access to critically needed behavioral health services, cutting-edge technology, and job training will go far in ensuring health equity in the communities of Cambridge, Framingham, and Waltham,” said Michael Curry, President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “We are grateful to Democratic Whip Clark for her commitment and vision to improving the health and well-being of all residents in the Fifth District.”     

In total, Clark secured more than $20 million for local community projects in the Fifth District.

The investments include: 

Advocates Community Health Access Expansion Project — Framingham, MA: $500,000

This funding will be used to renovate a 20,000 square foot building and create a Community Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) where patients will receive coordinated and integrated mental health care and substance use disorder treatment. This center will provide critical outpatient services, mobile crisis intervention, and community crisis stabilization for thousands of low income children and adults.

“We believe that everyone deserves timely, high-quality care for mental health and substance use challenges,” said Advocates President Diane Gould, LICSW. “We are grateful to Representative Clark for securing this funding, which is a critical investment in the wellbeing of our community. Our Community Behavioral Health Center will allow people to access the services they need, when and where they need them.”

Cambridge Public Health Commission Clinical Initiatives — Cambridge, MA: $1,000,000

This funding will help secure vital facilities and equipment for the Cambridge Public Health Commission. This initiative will provide equitable access to a range of state-of-the-art clinical diagnostic and treatment services for diverse and vulnerable populations, including those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“I am grateful to Representative Clark for prioritizing healthy equity in Cambridge and securing funding to improve access to treatment services for vulnerable populations,” said Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui.

“Cambridge Health Alliance is so grateful for Congresswoman Clark's leadership in securing critical facilities and equipment funding to foster equitable access to state-of-the-art health care services and medical equipment that our communities deserve for their health,” said Dr. Assaad Sayah, CEO, Cambridge Health Alliance. “This is integral to optimal health for our 140,000 patients and region.”

Charles River Community Health Center Improving Systems of Patient Care Project — Waltham, MA: $247,000

These funds will be used to convert and upgrade the Charles River Health Center (CRCH) Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. The new system, called Epic, will improve patient care, experience, and access.

“Epic is our first new electronic health records system in over 10 years, and funding for capital projects like this is vital to ensure community health centers have the highest quality, state-of-the-art technology available to care for our patients,” said Elizabeth Browne, CEO, Charles River Health Center. “It is extremely important that all providers have access to systems like Epic so they can care for everyone in our community. Epic also greatly improves our providers’ ability to conduct population health work and succeed in value-based care programs. We appreciate Representative Clark’s commitment to helping Charles River Community Health and the Waltham community.”

MassBay Community College’s Center of Health Science, Early Childhood Education, and Human Services Project — Framingham, MA and Wellesley, MA: $400,000

This funding will help MassBay Community College acquire laboratory equipment for its new Center of Health Science, Early Childhood Education, and Human Services. This new, state of the art laboratory equipment will allow students to use the same gear they’ll find on the job in most modern facilities – critical to properly training medical, early childhood, and human service professionals. This investment will also have a profound impact on students’ lives, providing rich opportunities to begin or advance their careers and achieve financial stability for their families.

The Center is currently under construction in the City of Framingham and will begin training students this summer. 

“We are extremely grateful to Congresswoman Clark for spearheading the effort to secure these needed funds to support the MassBay Center for Health Sciences, Early Childhood, and Human Services, in Framingham,” said David Podell, President, MassBay Community College. “With this funding, we will be purchasing state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to ensure our students are prepared to become health professionals having learned with the very tools they will encounter in the medical centers in which they will work. With this new building and its state-of-the-art equipment, MassBay is well positioned to provide the skills, training, and community services that not only will benefit thousands of students and their families but will also fortify the regional economy with a well-prepared workforce in critical economic development drivers in health care, human services, and early childhood fields. This is a critical investment that will sustain the College and the region for decades to come.”

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