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Mattapan Community Health Center marks new era of expanded patient care

9/1/2010, 5:19 a.m.
The new 50,000 square foot Mattapan Community Health Center (MCHC) facility will be located on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan Square. Considered the first new construction in the Square in more than 50 years, the facility is expected to house a pharmacy and a bank. For the first time, the Center will provide mammography services on site. An expanded laboratory will allow MCHC to run more tests. In addition, MCHC will use the new spaces to expand pediatric, adolescent, dental and women’s health services, and other programs for children and adults. Mattapan Community Health Center

When the Mattapan Community Health Center (MCHC) breaks ground for its new $32 million health facility on Friday, Sept. 10, it will mean more than bricks and mortar. Due for completion sometime late next year, the new 50,000 square foot space, on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan Square, will allow the Center to double the number of patients it serves and triple patient visits. The only such facility in Mattapan and Hyde Park (School-based Health Center), MCHC served more than 7,100 people through 28,000 visits last year.

Once open, the new facility in Mattapan Square will expand its capacity to offer dental, pediatric, adolescent, women’s health and other adult programs. And for the first time, the Center will provide mammography services on site. An expanded laboratory will allow MCHC to run more tests, more quickly. In addition to the MCHC, the building is expected to house two key commercial tenants on the first floor, a pharmacy and a bank. It will be the first pharmacy in Mattapan Square in more than 30 years.

Dr. Azzie Young, the chief executive officer of Mattapan Community Health Center, said, “With this new building, we will significantly strengthen our ability to address health disparities for the underserved patients for whom we care. We are thrilled about this exciting new chapter in our 38-year history and extremely grateful for the backing we have received from a wide array of supporters including government officials, hospital partners, corporate donors, friends and the surrounding community.”

Despite the recession, under Dr. Young’s leadership, MCHC has managed to raise $30 million of its $32 million fundraising goal. The current facility is aging, worn and undersized and in need of replacement. Aside from more space, the new building will bring additional jobs and services to the community beyond the expanded medical services of the new Center. MCHC is already Mattapan’s largest employer.

City of Boston declares Mattapan Community Health Center Week
Sept. 5-11, 2010

To celebrate this new beginning, the City of Boston has declared Sept. 5 –11, 2010 Mattapan Community Health Center Week. Dubbed “Take 5 for Mattapan Community Health Center,” the week kicks off with a series of community open houses at the current site with featured speakers. It culminates with a New Orleans-style parade and Groundbreaking ceremony up Blue Hill Avenue on Friday, Sept. 10 and the 14th Annual Health Care Revival on Saturday, Sept. 11. Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino are confirmed to be among the dignitaries joining the community for the Groundbreaking on Friday.

The need

Mattapan has some of the most serious health problems in Boston, including a HIV/AIDS mortality rate that is almost three times higher than that of Boston, rates of prostate cancer and sexually transmitted diseases more than twice that of Boston, an infant mortality rate that is twice that of Boston, and heart disease, diabetes mortality and teen birth rates significantly higher as well.

The campaign for Mattapan Community Health Center

Funding for the new MCHC facility has come from four sources: ARRA funds (already awarded), loans, New Markets Tax Credit Equity and philanthropy. Launched earlier this year, the campaign to generate philanthropic support for the new MCHC facility has already borne significant fruit. To date, MCHC has raised $9.8 million or 82 percent toward its philanthropic goal of $12 million.

Key contributions have been secured from the Boston Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Partners HealthCare, Greg E. Bulger, Richard Slifka, Children’s Hospital Boston, Denise and Bill Finard, The Smith Family Foundation, State Street Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital.

A commitment to quality

MCHC is committed to its mission of  improving the quality of life for residents of Mattapan and surrounding communities by providing comprehensive, accessible, affordable and culturally appropriate community health care services, including primary and preventive health services. The Center has been recognized for its high quality, culturally appropriate health services and for its pioneering work in caring for patients with diabetes and vitamin D deficiencies.

For more details on Mattapan Community Health Center Week, log onto www.mattapanchc.org. or call 617-898-9049.