What: Ribbon-cutting and celebration of expansion of Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center
When: Friday August 12th, 2011, 3 p.m.
Where: Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center, 11 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield
For many urban communities, one of the greatest challenges for their health and wellness is getting access to regular and high-quality medical care close to home. Tomorrow in Mason Square, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Rep. Ben Swan, other community leaders, and the doctors, nurses and staff of Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center will gather to celebrate a step forward in advancing access to care as the health center celebrates an expansion that adds 11 new patient exam rooms to the facility.
The expansion, funded by Baystate and and the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, will allow the health center to continue its progress in helping members of the Mason Square community take greater control over their own health, and better manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease and other illnesses. Studies have shown that regular access to primary care visits can have a significant benefit for patients with such conditions, and the rate of many of these conditions in Mason Square far exceeds averages.
In addition to expanding the health center, Baystate is also evolving its model of care. By making contacts between caregivers and patients more frequent, and coordinating care more effectively and efficiently, the health center has been able to increase its capacity for patient visits by 20%. With the new space now open for business, and the addition of optometry services, Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center will be able to make an even bigger impact on the health and lives of its patients.
The health center is also an important training ground for the medical students and residents who will be the physicians of the future. With a national and local shortage of primary care physicians, this training—on the cutting edge of primary care in the post-health-reform era—will help these young doctors emerge from their training ready to serve patients in the new era.
Tomorrow you’ll have the chance to find out how improving access improves health, and get a closer look at the ‘medical home’ concept that seems to be the model for primary care in the modern era. It’s also the last day of National Health Center Week, and there are a number of other activities underway at the health center to give you a better sense of the crucial role that health centers play in many lives.
For more information, or to arrange media coverage, please contact Ben Craft at 413-794-1689. All media visits to Baystate Medical Center and other Baystate facilities must be arranged in advance.