A critical component to good health is good nutrition. However, for some children, healthy meals can be elusive.
In Massachusetts, 363,000 kids qualify for free or subsidized breakfast and lunch during the school year. And when school is out, children in families that struggle with food insecurity can’t always count on regular, healthy meals.
In our two years partnering with Neighborhood Health Plan and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers we’ve awarded over $10 million to Massachusetts health centers. The projects awarded will allow the CHCs to transform operations, patient communications and service delivery while collaborating with other health centers to find new solutions to common problems.
Partners HealthCare president and CEO Dr. Gary Gottlieb appeared on WGBH’s “Greater Boston” last night to discuss our proposed partnerships with South Shore Hospital, Hallmark Health and Harbor Medical Associates.
“Our vision is really about our patients — getting them care where they live,” Dr. Gottlieb told host Emily Rooney.
As Rooney stated, Partners is known for our academic medical centers, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which serve an important role in providing the highest-quality care available to patients. However, Dr. Gottlieb noted there may not be a need to come to Boston; by partnering with hospitals in Melrose, Medford and Weymouth, we will better serve patients in those communities, closer to their homes, and help control health costs.
Patrick Menaged is a Distribution Technician II at Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH), where he has worked for more than six years. Over this time, Patrick has grown in his role, earning promotions and helping to mentor other technicians. In addition, he is the Materials Management Team Leader in the operating room (OR), where he is responsible for ordering and overseeing everything needed in the OR, including all supplies and equipment.
While at NWH, Patrick – who moved to the United States from Haiti in 2001 – took advantage of the hospital’s U.S. Citizenship Program, which provides assistance with the application process, practice interviews and preparation for the citizenship test. This free, onsite program is available to NWH employees and their families.
In February 2013, Patrick was delighted to become a U.S. citizen. “I feel more freedom now that I am a U.S. citizen, and I am happy that I can vote and have a voice in this great country,” said Patrick.
Carmen learned about the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) program from a flyer while she was unemployed and decided to apply. For Carmen, this was the first step in a long journey of personal and professional growth.
To get started on her career path, Carmen enrolled in PCWD. Soon after graduating she was hired by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH). She quickly took advantage of the hospital’s other workforce development offerings, taking pre-college preparatory courses and participating in the Partners Online College Preparation Program (OCPP).
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Carmen fulfilled a long-time personal goal of becoming a U.S. citizen in 2013. She was able to achieve this goal by participating in the free, onsite U.S. Citizenship Program at BWFH. Carmen is focusing on her short-term goal of completing the next phases of her education and registering for classes toward an associate degree in business at Roxbury Community College. Her long-term goal is to obtain her bachelor’s degree in business and continue her career growth.
“My involvement in these programs has been driven by my simple desire to achieve professional growth,” said Carmen, a mother of three young boys who believes she is setting an example for her children, including her two teenaged stepdaughters. “I feel that I owe it to myself and my family. I want them to see what can happen when you set goals and seize opportunities – you can achieve anything.”
Boston is again home to two of the nation’s top hospitals, according to the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals list. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) ranked second on the Honor Roll and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), ninth. Boston is also the only city with two hospitals in the top 10 list; 2014 marks the eighth consecutive year that Partners HealthCare’s founding members have held that honor.
U.S. News recognized several other Partners hospitals for their excellence in specialty care. McLean Hospital was ranked fourth in the nation for psychiatry, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital came in at sixth for rehabilitation. MGH and BWH both appeared among the top hospitals in the country for a range of specialties, as well.
At the regional level, MGH and BWH were ranked first and second in the Boston area, respectively. Newton-Wellesley Hospital was also in the top 10 at number nine in the Boston area, commended for its services in diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, orthopedics and urology. And North Shore Medical Center ranked number 13 on the Boston list, also noted for its distinction in geriatric care.
There has been a lot of conversation over the past few weeks about the agreement we reached with the Massachusetts Attorney General to acquire South Shore Hospital, Hallmark Health and Harbor Medical Associates. While a few of our competitors claim that these new affiliations would give Partners HealthCare too great a share in the marketplace, recent media articles have pointed out that the situation is much more nuanced.
A column in The Boston Globe cites analysts who say that in order to adapt to the Affordable Care Act and other health care regulations, hospitals’ “future largely depends on becoming larger.”
Big isn’t always bad – with greater scale comes greater efficiency.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed an agreement in Suffolk Superior Court that would allow us to move forward on partnerships with South Shore Hospital, Hallmark Health and Harbor Medical Associates. Our vision offers substantive benefits for patients in these communities.
At Partners HealthCare, we want to expand access to affordable, coordinated health care, closer to the homes of our patients and their families. The agreement we’ve reached with the Attorney General helps us achieve this vision:
Coordinated: Creating strong clinical and financial ties between primary care physicians, community hospitals and our system is key to coordinating services across the continuum of care for our patients, which is why we’ve pursued these new affiliations.
During the summer of her senior year at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury, Jen participated in the Youth Summer Internship Program offered through Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Workforce Development office. Every summer, approximately 100 high school students participate in this program that introduces them to the world of work and the vast careers in the health care industry.
“My experience was so rewarding because I was able to witness the inner workings of the hospital environment and discover that there are so many non-clinical departments that function together and play an important role in keeping the hospital running safely and efficiently,” said Jen. “I enjoyed it so much that I requested to come back and work as a college intern, and I was so fortunate to be invited back the past three summers.”
In her role as a college intern, Jen worked with the students who participated in the Youth Summer Internship Program and helped them with everything they needed to be successful. She also acted as a mentor and supported the students through the college application process.
Jen was the first person in her family born in the U.S., and she will be the first person in her family to receive a college degree, from Clark University. At Clark, Jen is a psychology major with a concentration in health care and culture. Her ultimate educational goal is to obtain a master’s degree in public health.
Laphen discovered the Partners in Career and Workforce Development program (PCWD) after moving to Boston from Jamaica. She was accepted into the program – which includes training in customer service skills, basic medical terminology, organizational skills, money management and other topics – and secured an administrative assistant position at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“PCWD has paved the way for my career,” she said. “It was a great opportunity to learn more about my weaknesses and strengths.”
These days, Laphen has a packed schedule. She is currently working as a Senior Administrative Assistant in the Care Coordination Department of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. When she’s not managing the calendars for care coordinators and assisting both the nursing director and director of social work, she’s working to achieve her bachelor’s degree through an online program and raising three daughters.