Thanks to Tom’s of Maine and a local family, the Tooth Fairy has paid a visit to the health center! Ten families throughout the country were selected as “Tooth Fairy Heroes” for participating in Tom’s of Maine’s “Be a Tooth Fairy Hero” initiative. The initiative asked parents and children to help raise awareness about the need for better access to dental care. Our Tooth Fairy Hero is Bridget from Hopkinton. Thanks to her, the health center has been awarded $10,000 to better serve our communities. Thank you Bridget and Tom’s of Maine for this wonderful gift!
In response to a high demand for primary care in the community, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center is expanding to Milford.The health center will provide primary and preventative medical care, behavioral health, case management, care coordination, lab service, and help obtaining benefits. We are excited to join the community and are looking forward to helping people live healthier lives in Milford!
Read more about our future site in Milford here.
Also read the speech made by Senator Richard T. Moore, who was the keynote speaker, where he discusses the importance of community health centers and their role in healthcare reform.
Antonia ‘Toni’ McGuire, CEO and President of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy CHC) recently announced the promotion of two medical professionals to new leadership positions.
Dr. Michele Pici of Worcester, a Board Certified Family Physician and former Medical Director at Kennedy CHC, was recently promoted to Chief Medical Officer. Julie Eisele, RN, MSN, also of Worcester, was promoted from her role as Staff Development Nurse to Director of Nursing.
“Dr. Pici has enhanced her skills in order to assume a broader clinical and administrative leadership role in the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center as we continue to expand services to additional sites and communities,” McGuire said. “She was instrumental in the successful implementation of our new electronic medical records system, which replaced our old system. Dr. Pici is one of our most dedicated physicians and is committed to achieving our mission to provide patients with the highest quality healthcare.”
“In addition, we are really fortunate to have Julie Eisele continue her work here as Director of Nursing,” McGuire continued. “Julie has a diversified background, having worked in hospital settings before she came to the community health center. Her strong educational experience, combined with her extensive clinical work, makes her a great choice to supervise our nursing and allied nursing staff.”
Dr. Pici received her medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her medical residency in family medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. She has been with the Kennedy CHC (formerly Great Brook Valley Health Center) since 1999 and in 2004 was named Medical Director. Dr. Pici continued her education in 2011, earning a master’s degree in business administration for physician executives at the University of Tennessee.
As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pici will be responsible for providing clinical leadership across the organization, implementing standardized clinical operations to promote quality, access, cost effectiveness and patient satisfaction.
“The work of community health centers is a vital part of the health care delivery system in this country,” Dr. Pici said. “Community health centers are probably the most cost effective model of care. My hope is that with the Affordable Care Act and national healthcare reform, more physicians graduating from medical school will go into primary care – family medicine in particular, which is my specialty.”
Ms. Eisele has been with the Kennedy CHC for the past four years, having previously served as an emergency room nurse at Marlborough Hospital and MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham. She twice earned highest honors from Regis College, where she received both a bachelor and master’s of science degree in nursing.
“It is a very exciting time to be leading the nursing department at Kennedy CHC,” Eisele said. “First, there are the incredibly committed nurses and medical assistants who I am privileged to call colleagues and friends. Second, the organization is growing and embarking on new and exciting projects to expand our services to more patients. We are uniquely positioned with local community partners to pursue these goals. This is a great opportunity for the nurses at Kennedy CHC to discover what more we can do to help our patients live healthier lives.”
Kennedy CHC includes medical and dental facilities in Worcester, Framingham and Clinton. For more information about the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, please call 1-800-853-2288.
With help from the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Kennedy CHC has joined forces with Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiative. A CSA is when a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public, typically consisting of a box of vegetables. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or “subscription”) and in return receive a bag of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
The partnership with the CSA enhances our goal of improving health outcomes for patients through better nutrition and healthier eating strategies. Our Nutritionists and Community Health Workers work directly with patients to assist with enrollment and provide educational materials about the vegetables, nutritional value, cooking, recipes, and meal planning advice. The CSA makes fresh, organic vegetables affordable through weekly payment plans and SNAP benefits and accessible because shares will be delivered directly to the health center.
Below are photos from an event we had to inform staff of the CSA Connect Program and to have sign-ups. Below, from top to bottom; a display of the vegetables in our lobby; Julie, the farmer at Many Hands Organic Farms; and our first staff member to sign up!
Sleep makes you feel better, mentally, physically and spiritually. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Below are 11 examples of how sleep can benefit you.
- Improves memory-studies show during sleep our brain is very busy. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake called “consolidation”
- Live Longer?-Some studies show those who sleep less than five hours per night have shorter life spans.
- Curb Inflammation- Inflammation is linked to heart disease. Studies show those who do not get enough sleep have increased inflammatory proteins in their blood which can increase your risk of a heart attack.
- Spur Creativity- In addition to consolidating memories, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
- Improve being an athlete- a study showed athletes who slept more than 8 hours per night performed better.
- Improve your grades- studies show that those individuals, who sleep more, get better grades in school.
- Sharpen Attention- Studies show that children that sleep less than 8 or 9 hours per night are more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive.
- Have a Healthy Weight-Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat — 56 percent of their weight loss — than those who were sleep deprived.
- Lower stress- It is a known fact that lack of sleep increases stress, and stress increases risk to cardiovascular health. Sleep reduces levels of stress and can reduce blood pressure.
- Avoid Accidents- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports being tired accounted for the highest number of single car fatal crashes.
- Steering Clear of Depression-Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being. A lack of sleep can contribute to depression.
-Original Article from The Huffington Post
A manuscript co-authored by Kennedy CHC staff has been accepted for presentation at the Academy of Business Research Conference. The piece, “A Case Study of Clinical Pharmacy Service Innovation in a Community Health Center: An Application of a Marketing Orientation,” was a collaborative effort between Kennedy CHC staff members and staff at Bryant University. LoriAnn Collins, Vice President of Pharmacy, Dr. Dana DelDotto, Clinical Pharmacist, and Dr. Valerie A. Coppenrath, MCP Clinical Pharmacist, with Dr. Sandra Potter and Dr. Charles J. Quigley from Bryant University authored the paper about clinical pharmacy services and how it impacts healthcare in community health centers. If it is chosen as best at the conference, it will be published in the Academy’s journal.
For more about the Academy of Business Research, visit their website.
In the spirit of the holiday season, the staff at Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center wanted to give back to our community. We held a food drive to benefit organizations in the area – the Willis Center in Worcester, A Place to Turn in Framingham, and WHEAT Community Services in Clinton. We asked staff to donate mostly healthy food because of the strong link between nutritious food and good health. We knew we would get a good response, as we do this every year, but we were astounded by the outpouring of donations! The bins were so full of food that there wasn’t enough room and they had to be emptied!
We also held a clothing drive to benefit St. Vincent de Paul in Worcester. Once again, we had a great response! The delivery truck was so overloaded that the driver had to force the doors closed! This is amazing and such a wonderful gift to those who need it. We are truly proud of the thoughtfulness of our staff! Thanks to everyone who donated and we wish everyone a happy holiday season!
Attorney General Martha Coakley and the MA Association of Community Health Workers Visit Kennedy CHC
Attorney General Martha Coakley (center) and the MA Association of Community Health Workers' Executive Director Lisa Renee Holderby-Fox (second from left) visit our health center at 19 Tacoma Street in Worcester. As a recipient of the Attorney General's Community Health Worker Grant Program, we aim to reduce the number of emergency room visits.
Emma Biggert, a Westborough High School student, is collecting children’s books for the Kennedy CHC health centers in Worcester and Framingham. The books will be handed out during well-child and dental visits as well as at health fairs. Emma is collecting these books through the foundation The Jake Maxfield Connection, which was created in memory of her cousin, and focuses on community service and literacy.
Last year, Emma collected over 1,600 and hopes to reach 2,000 this year! You can read about her efforts here.
On October 4, friends and supporters from across MetroWest joined us for a very exciting day – the official grand opening of our newly renovated site on Waverly Street in Framingham! Click here for photos.