In 2020, Lowell Community Health Center celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary. One way we honored the Health Center’s legacy was by celebrating the people we’ve served, the people who have served, and those in the community who have sustained us for five decades. Throughout the year, we shared many of their stories with you — one each week.

A little over a year ago, we began our 50 Stories for 50 Years by recalling the song “Seasons of Love,” from the musical Rent, which asks, “How do you measure a year?” We imagined that song to be the soundtrack of our anniversary year, capped by confetti and a big, bold community celebration that was filled to the brim with laughter, nostalgia, and hope for the future. We could never have imagined the reality of the year that lay ahead.

Still, we managed to celebrate our history. And 50 Stories was a key part of that. At first, we weren’t sure how to continue. How would people respond to these stories in a world suddenly re-defined by isolation and uncertainty? As it turns out, sharing these inspiring, heartwarming, and hopeful personal experiences were just what the doctor ordered.

History

It all began with a bold idea. That everyone deserved access to quality health care.

Your community health center is rooted in the belief that everyone in Greater Lowell deserves access to quality, affordable health care.

In 1965, the national community health center movement launched as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. The first two CHC’s were located in Boston’s Columbia Point neighborhood and in rural Mississippi.

Planting the seed in Lowell

In 1970, the movement came to Lowell. That was when Lowell General Hospital (LGH) established a small, community-based clinic in an apartment at the Shaughnessy Terrace public housing complex. The clinic focused on prenatal and pediatric care, all easily accessible to residents.

Read more about the early days of the health center movement

Photo caption: Lowell CHC employees during the early years (top) and an artist rendering of the Shaughnessy Terrace public housing complex, site of our first clinic in 1970 (bottom).

Stories

Bruce

Bruce

With seemingly boundless energy, steadfast determination, and the biggest heart in the room, Bruce Robinson has made service to his community more than a full-time job Read More
Dr. Mazraany

Dr. Mazraany

Spend 5 minutes with Dr. Wassim Mazraany and you’ll probably find yourself smiling ear to ear. Read More
Kerrie, Amanda, and Hannah

Kerrie, Amanda, and Hannah

Meet the 3 visionary, determined women at the helm of the Greater Lowell Health Alliance. Read More
Mony

Mony

Mony’s path to our Metta Health Center was far from conventional. Read More
Nancy

Nancy

In the City of Lowell, the name Nancy L. Donahue has become synonymous with dedication and generosity. Read More
Paul

Paul

An outdoor adventurer, gardener, and avid reader, Paul is enjoying his retirement in the City where he grew up. Read More
Tiba

Tiba

A pair of sparkly pink eye glasses made a little girl’s heart sing – and life a bit easier for a family that had already been through so much. Read More
Ruth

Ruth

Ruth has a strong belief in standing up for what she believes in — and an equally strong drive to be a force for positive change. Read More
Sonith

Sonith

Meet Sonith Peou, a visionary leader and champion for refugees from all over the world, through the eyes of long-time friend and colleague (and former Lowell CHC CEO) Dorcas Grigg-Saito. Read More
Dr. Korbage

Dr. Korbage

Dr. Aiham Korbage’s path to the Radiology Department at Lowell General Hospital was anything but typical. Read More
Caroline D

Caroline D

Caroline speaks with an authority and warmth that draws you in and instantly inspires confidence. It’s no surprise she was a news anchor in Kenya. Read More
Pratik

Pratik

Although still in high school, Pratik has an uncanny way of viewing the world outside of his (now virtual) classroom. Read More
Lumaris

Lumaris

Lumaris’ fearlessness and work ethic helped her build a life for herself and her 2 sons, first in Puerto Rico, and now in Lowell. Read More
Maura

Maura

When Maura Smith took on the challenge of raising money to build our $42M home in a renovated former mill on Jackson Street, it seemed like an impossible dream. Read More
Dr. Jordan

Dr. Jordan

You may have heard of our resident dentist, turned COVID tester extraordinaire, Dr. Samantha (Sam) Jordan. Read More
Tori

Tori

With courage and strength, Tori has rebuilt her life for her and her son. Read More
Connor

Connor

Connor Griffiths’ interest in public health has taken him from backyard farmer to Cornell University. Read More
Tony

Tony

Tony’s kind heart and tremendous work ethic have earned him the nickname “The Unicorn” from his Health Center colleagues. Read More
Shamir & Shalmai

Shamir & Shalmai

Committed, hardworking, quick to laugh and quicker to lend a hand, these sisters have a way of getting things done — with pizzazz. Read More
The Greater Lowell Community Foundation

The Greater Lowell Community Foundation

It’s National Health Center Week, and we’re celebrating the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF), a community partner that’s stepped up BIG TIME during the COVID crisis. Read More
Jessica

Jessica

Media maven turned non-profit director, Jessica Wilson has the energy and enthusiasm to match her wide smile. Read More
Peter

Peter

A legal services professional and one-time actor, Peter Saati’s calm and compassion always put his clients’ minds at ease. Read More
Vanessa & Jeyla

Vanessa & Jeyla

Smile! It’s time for your shots. COVID-19 brings new meaning to pediatric well-child visits. Read More
Dr. Rao

Dr. Rao

Dr. Rao’s talent, humility, and unwavering optimism have taken him around the world. Read More
Michael

Michael

Attorney Michael Gallagher isn’t shy about standing up for causes he believes in. Read More
George

George

In honor of Pride Month, meet this long-time advocate of our Health Center — and Lowell’s LGBTQ+ community. Read More
Cindy & Lynne

Cindy & Lynne

Our School-Based Health Superstars who have become virtual caregivers, cheerleaders, and even tutors during this crisis. Read More
Hilda

Hilda

Her kindness, humility, and personal touch have made her a legend in our Pediatrics department for the past 41 years. Read More
Dr. Rajesh

Dr. Rajesh

Our Chief of Pediatrics talks to the Lowell Sun about welcoming patients back into the Health Center and the surprise benefits of telehealth. Read More
Pete

Pete

On the frontlines of COVID-19, there are bright spots. We’d like to introduce you to one. Meet Pete. Read More
Xiomara

Xiomara

As part of #NationalNursesWeek, hear from one of the best, in her own words. Read More
Beth

Beth

Read this special profile of Lowell CHC’s Chief Clinical Officer from the Lowell Sun. Read More
Carla

Carla

In her 10+ years as a Community Health Worker, Carla Caraballo thought she had seen it all. That was until COVID-19. Read More
Steve

Steve

Meet Steve Joncas, a true friend to Lowell Community Health Center. Read More
Diana

Diana

Nurse Practitioner Diana Mahoney understands that a strong connection with patients is key to good health. Read More
Cheryl

Cheryl

Cheryl spent most of her life thinking her health conditions would hold her back. Read More
Ivy

Ivy

At 17, Ivy knows she has a voice and ideas she wants to share with the world. Read More
Simone

Simone

With hard work and an open heart, Simone has achieved much during her 16 years at Lowell CHC. Read More
Caroline

Caroline

A Lowellian through and through, Caroline (Petruzziello) Rider knows there’s no place like home. Read More
Wendy

Wendy

As a new mother, Wendy knew she had a lot to learn. Read More
Mercy

Mercy

Growing up in Kenya, Mercy never could have imagined a career at Lowell CHC. Read More
Peter

Peter

Growing up, Peter always knew he would get involved in health care. Read More
Donna

Donna

Donna has been a part of the health center movement from the very beginning. Read More
Sheila 

Sheila 

A mother, grandmother, and former nurse, Sheila knew what it meant to care for others. Read More