WORCESTER — Patti Parker couldn’t believe her eyes.
She recently toured the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center at 19 Tacoma St., where she witnessed doctors, nurses and staff treating patients with a wide variety of health needs.
“I’m in awe of what’s been done here,” Parker said.
It’s a far cry from Parker’s childhood. Fifty years ago, she was one of the center’s first patients.
In those days the center was called the Great Brook Valley Health Center – the name was changed to the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in 2010.
Fifty years ago, the center was located in tight quarters across the street inside the Great Brook Valley public housing development. Parker lived in GBV with her mother and remembered access to health care for GBV residents as “barely existent.”
From those humble beginnings, the center grew to serve more than 28,000 patients annually, employ more than 300 people and has an operating budget in fiscal 2023 in excess of $47 million.