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March 21, 2023

Kennedy Community Health Center to open new 30K-sq.-ft. facility in April

PHOTO | Isabel Tehan The new Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center at 605 Lincoln Street in Worcester

The Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center’s new 605 Lincoln Street facility is slated to open to patients the first week of April, aiming to expand health equity in Worcester.

The opening will happen in phases, with optometry and dental services expected to be available first, followed by behavioral health services in the second phase, though a specific date has not been given. An on-site pharmacy will be included in the second phase as well, Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the health center, said at a Monday ribbon cutting ceremony. The expanded dental lab will offer comprehensive care, and the center will have three specific optometry rooms and six for behavioral healthcare. 

The behavioral health services offered will expand access to critical treatment, said Eric Batista, city manager for the City of Worcester, citing ongoing struggles related to mental health and opioid use among residents.

PHOTO | Isabel Tehan
In advance of the Lincoln Street facility opening, elected officials joined staff to unveil the center

“This is going to be a place where people not only get high quality healthcare, but also feel comfortable,” said Batista. 

The new facility adds 30,000 square feet, effectively doubling the health center’s footprint. It is Kennedy’s 11th site across Central Massachusetts and MetroWest, where 31,000 individuals receive care annually, said Kerrigan.

Work at the center was funded in part by a $3-million grant secured by Congressman James McGovern (D-Worcester). Quality of care for vulnerable populations who seek treatment at community health centers will be elevated with the expansion, said McGovern. 

“Community health centers are crucial to equity goals. This project demonstrates an unwavering commitment to providing care to patients,” McGovern said at the Monday ceremony.

Kerrigan credited Kennedy’s majority-consumer board of directors, made up of individuals who receive care from the center, which helps the team make decisions in line with the needs of the community.

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