Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Walter Eliot once said, “Perseverance is not one long race; it is many short races, one after the other.” As we close out 2021 and look towards the dawn of a new year, a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy Community Health), I find myself reflecting on the meaning of perseverance and how it’s brought us, as a Health Center, to where we are today.
The passage of a half century in dedication to any service is a remarkable feat, and something that carries with it a tremendous weight. What was born out of the seven mothers’ demand for better access to health care for their families has grown exponentially out of a foundational principle that health care is a human right, not a privilege. At Kennedy Community Health, we believe that we are measured by the health and well-being of the most vulnerable and under-resourced among us and strive to increase access to high-quality, accessible, inclusive and comprehensive health care services each and every day, regardless of ability to pay.
The path that we have forged over these past 50 years has neither been linear nor easy. Over the past 50 years, Kennedy Community Health has weathered great storms that shook our organization to its core and challenged our very mission. But together, we persevered. We not only survived the toughest and most extreme of challenges, but with the strength of our resolve and determination, we have thrived and grown through the past five decades.
The past nearly two years of the pandemic exemplify this perseverance; entrenched in the deepest of public health emergencies, Kennedy Community Health has not only maintained uninterrupted access to services, but we have secured new locations in Milford and Worcester to expand our reach, bring in additional services and increase access to care. With the New Year, we will be opening the doors to our expanded location in the Milford community, which not only triples our footprint, but it also gives us the space to bring dental, optometry and low-cost pharmacy options. This not only decreases the burden of transportation and system navigation on our patients, but it also provides a better, more comprehensive medical home to help people live healthies lives. In Worcester, securing an additional site just a block away from our flagship site allows for our expansion into much needed service areas to a better, more comprehensive approach to caring for our community.
This journey is not one we’ve taken alone, either. Our past 50 years as an organization has depended upon the strength and commitment of those in our community to invest in us and believe in our mission. As a community partner, we have worked in partnership with so many other great local, statewide and national organizations to bring needed resources to Central and MetroWest Massachusetts. Elected and appointed officials have recognized our value and strength and taken needed action to secure funding and legislation to support our sustainability and growth. As a major employer in the communities we serve, our staff work tirelessly and fight for better care, better access and better resources. As a partner in health, our patients, whose voices and experiences shape the heart of our health center, have shared their stories and experiences to help us grow and better serve our communities’ most pressing needs.
And, of course, all of you, who understand the impact of our work and who believe in our mission of doing whatever it takes to provide equitable, accessible and inclusive health care to all in our community. Kennedy Community Health is and will continue to persevere and remain a cornerstone of the Central and MetroWest Massachusetts’ communities for the next 50 years with your support.
We are asking you to show your support this holiday season by making a contribution to Kennedy Community Health to help support our vital expansion efforts as we head into our 50th year. Every penny counts in our mission to help people live healthier lives, and your contribution, no matter the size, will help to ensure that someone in your community will have the access to health care that they need and deserve. And what better gift to give this year than the gift of health?
Stephen J. Kerrigan
President and CEO
P.S. – Every dollar raised during this and every campaign will be invested back into the local community, through sourcing local contractors and services to support Kennedy Community Health’s build out and hiring and expanding our workforce, and employing local residents and community members. A healthier community starts here, together. Contribute today.