CENTRAL FALLS – The 47,000-square-foot building taking shape off Broad Street is the future home of the Central Falls Neighborhood Health Station, a community health center with a mission of offering comprehensive, low-cost services to 85 percent of Central Falls’ 16,000 residents under one roof. Scheduled for completion in early October, the facility will provide traditional and primary medical and dental care, behavioral health care and urgent care.
Spearheaded by Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, the project cost is $16 million, with the majority of funds raised through several sources including new market tax credits and grants from the Champlin Foundation, Delta Dental and the Health Resources and Services Administration. BVCHC also received a $200,000 grant from Neighborhood Health Plan and has raised $470,000 of their $800,000 fundraising goal. Efforts to raise money for the project are still underway.
At a recent fundraising breakfast at Navigant Credit Union, local business executives and philanthropic leaders gathered to learn more about the project. The event was hosted by Navigant President and CEO Gary Furtado, BVCHC Executive Director Raymond Lavoie, Teknor Apex CEO Jonathan Fain and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa.
“Central Falls is where our credit union began over 100 years ago. We feel it’s particularly important to support the Neighborhood Health Station to benefit the city,” said Furtado, who announced a $100,000 gift from Navigant.
A $100,000 matching challenge from Teknor Apex was also announced by Fain, who said, “I don’t think that there is a more compelling project that our business community can get behind.”
Lavoie said, “Our mission is to provide high quality, accessible, affordable, comprehensive health care to the residents of Pawtucket and Central Falls using a model of primary care that stresses prevention, education and patient empowerment.”
The station was the brainchild of Dr. Michael Fine, senior population health and clinical services offficer of BVCHC. Fine called the project, “a unique opportunity to bring public health together with primary care and represents our strategy to make Central Falls the healthiest city in the state. We are using primary care and public health to spur economic development in CF. We’ll bring 100 new jobs to CF, and provide a way for employers here to keep their employees healthy and reduce their health care costs.”
BVCHC Board Chairman John Lefrancois thanked the BVCHC senior management team for their “professionalism and confidence that have inspired the board to enthusiastically embrace this project. Also, thanks to those dedicated volunteer board members whose unheralded efforts help ensure the BVCHC continues to evolve while providing indispensable services to the community.”
When complete, the state-of-the-art facility will offer 34 medical exam rooms, eight dental operatories, six behavioral health offices, a community meeting room and a contract pharmacy. There will be an advocacy office for community partners to impact the social detriments to health, in addition to a fire department/EMT office.
“Other health care centers wait for people to come through their doors. We intend to know every person in Central Falls, not only to offer the best prevention science to the people who come to us, but also to reach out to everyone in Central Falls and bring prevention to those we don’t know yet,” said Fine.
For more information, visit www.bvchc.org .