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Caring Health Center moves forward with projects thanks to new HEFA support

SPRINGFIELD The Caring Health Center in Springfield will be able to remove asbestos and begin interior demolition in preparation for a new facility with new assistance from the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA). Fulfilling its mandate to enhance the quality of life of the residents in the Commonwealth by enabling non-profit institutions to reduce their cost of capital, HEFA announced that it will provide grants to 14 local health centers totaling $336,736 as part of its Community Health Center Grant Program. Among the awards is $25,000 to the Caring Health Center, HEFA Executive Director Benson T. Caswell said. "Local health centers are critical to our communities because they provide care to those who are most in need. Unfortunately, in the midst of this economic crisis, many nonprofit health centers have had to put important projects and improvements on hold," Caswell said. "We are thrilled to be able to help these deserving health organizations whose daily mission is to deliver high quality health care to all members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay." "In these difficult economic times, the services that Caring Health Center provides are needed more than ever," said State Sen. Stephen Buoniconti (D-West Springfield). "I am very pleased that HEFA has chosen to help fund these necessary capital improvements which will increase access to high quality care for many of Springfield's most vulnerable residents." "I am pleased that the Caring Health Center has been selected to receive a HEFA grant. The center provides invaluable services to our community, especially at a time when families and individuals alike are struggling financially," said State Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera (D-Springfield)."Without community-based organizations in Springfield such as the Caring Health Center, many of our residents would never get the care they need and, most of all, deserve." Caring Health Center was created by the community, for the community to provide the highest level of health care to the underserved and to those challenged by income, language and cultural barriers. It strives to provide services in a manner sensitive to a patient's cultural and linguistic character with respect for their personal dignity and self-worth. "We recently acquired a 19th century building in the South End of Springfield, and the facility requires complete gut rehabilitation," said Anne S. Awad, Executive Director of Caring Health Center. "HEFA's award will help fund asbestos removal and interior demolition, so that we may move forward with transforming this historic structure to create a 21st century health center." From the Berkshires to Brockton, in Worcester, Lawrence and Springfield, deserving health centers will be able to make significant improvements and improve their services to those who most need it. For more information, visit www.mhefa.org.

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