From the Desk of Stephen J. Kerrigan

From the Desk of Stephen J. Kerrigan2019-11-25T10:18:04-05:00
 
Giving Tuesday, the global day of caring, is celebrated each year the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This special day provides an opportunity for all of us to support the work of non-profits all over the country. And as one of the largest community health centers serving the most vulnerable in our community, supporting the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy Community Health) on Giving Tuesday will go a long way in helping us to help people live healthier lives.
 
This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking for your support as we raise much-needed funds for our school-based health centers (SBHCs). Kennedy Community Health currently operates six SBHCs in Worcester and Framingham where our clinicians provide access to vital health services to students in a place where they spend most of their day: at school. Your support on this Giving Tuesday will help with everything from replacing worn-out waiting room furniture at these sites to providing the on-going availability of youth health resources, like health education materials and providing on-site flu shots.
 
Supporting Kennedy Community Health on Giving Tuesday can be done in any number of ways:
  • Sharing our posts and fundraisers allows us to broadcast our message and mission more broadly.
  • Inviting your network to like our page or join our fundraiser helps to increase the size of our audience. 
  • Creating your own fundraiser in benefit of the Health Center helps us to increase our efforts towards our goal of raising $5,000
  • Donating any amount you can to our fundraiser helps to inch us closer to our goal. 
As an added bonus, Facebook is matching the first $7 million in donations made through their site which can double your donation.
 
Any support you’re willing and able to contribute on this Giving Tuesday is deeply appreciated! Please follow our progress by visiting our main campaign page on GiveLively, or check us out on Facebook and follow along on Instagram and Twitter.
 
Thank you so much for your support.
 
Sincerely,
 
Steve Kerrigan
President and CEO
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dear Colleagues:

In mid-October, the Baker administration introduced legislation that will continue to reform health care delivery in Massachusetts. The legislation promises to open up access to needed primary care and behavioral health services, as well as hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for rising health care costs. Insurance programs will also be examined through a special commission set up by the Governor.

Massachusetts has always been on the forefront of innovation and change related to the delivery of health care, and it is reassuring to see us continuing in this tradition.

As a health care leader, I am pleased to see that this new legislation has been proposed; as the President and CEO of a premier health center, both regionally and nationally, I can’t help but point out that this new plan must include opportunities to address the financial constraints facing the largest primary care practice in the Commonwealth: Community Health Centers.

Often thought of as a third tier medical delivery system, community health centers have risen beyond their initial grass roots status to become a place of choice, where about one out of every seven individuals in Massachusetts comes to receive care. Right now community health centers in the state care for more than one million people.

Any and all health care reform must address the reimbursement system for community health centers. The current structure leaves most of us struggling to recruit staff, purchase the latest equipment and remain current with technology changes. The residents of the Commonwealth who choose to receive care at a community health center have the same rights to quality care delivery as those who visit large, private and hospital-based practices.

Kennedy CHC is fortunate in that our legislative delegation in both Central Massachusetts and MetroWest recognize the value we bring to our community and understand our plight. We thank them for their continual efforts to fight for access to health care for everyone.

Thank you.

Steve Kerrigan
President and CEO

Dear Colleagues:

On October 2, 2019, I will begin my fourth month as President and CEO of Kennedy CHC. Although I was well aware of the mission and good works of community health centers across our nation, I never realized the full scope of their impact until I joined the Kennedy CHC team.

For the past three months, I have had the opportunity to meet with leaders in the community health center movement locally and around the country. Through programs hosted by the Mass League of Community Health Centers and the National Association of Community Health Centers, I have learned more extensively about the challenges facing our long term sustainability.

Each year we have to advocate in Washington, DC to insure community health centers receive level funding at best despite the fact that we serve over 29 million people a year in more than 11,000 rural and urban communities across the U.S.

In Massachusetts alone, over one-million people received care at a community health center in 2017.

Even more amazing is that through an economic lens, Massachusetts’ community health centers provide an economic impact of over $2.6 billion, supporting over 18,000 direct and indirect jobs (FTEs) throughout the Commonwealth.

With statistics like these, I struggle to understand why community-based health care continues to lag behind the rest of our medical delivery system in regard to reimbursement rates from private and public insurers, and that as an industry we are not fully recognized for the value we bring to the communities we serve.

If we really believe in health care as a right and not a privilege, then we all need to step up and advocate for a proven model that makes health care affordable and accessible to everyone. I hope we can continue to count on you to support our mission and find ways to insure our sustainability for years to come.

Thank you.

Steve Kerrigan
President and CEO

Dear Colleagues:
 
Welcome to the first edition of Health Care Leadership in Action. As the new President and CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center, I plan to use this venue to keep you informed of the issues related to health care, including sharing opportunities for us to work together to insure access to health care for all.
 
Having worked for the father of community health centers, our late Senator, Ted Kennedy, I am more than familiar with the plight of underserved populations. Considered a right and not a privilege, our fight to insure quality, accessible and affordable health care must remain on the forefront of local, regional and national agendas.
 
My vision for the next year is to work with our colleagues across the Commonwealth and our nation to insure that policies and programs are implemented to guarantee the sustainability of community health centers going forward. With solid and strong financial support, we can work together to grow our community health centers locally so that we have the staff, the services and the programs necessary to achieve our mission of helping ALL people live healthier lives.
Thank you and I look forward to working with you.
 
Steve Kerrigan
President and CEO