January 31, 2024

Lowell CHC’s Cindy Slaga, NP Recognized As 2024 Community Health Center Clinician of the Year  

Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) is proud to announce Cynthia (Cindy) Slaga, NP, as the 2024 Community Health Center Clinician of the Year, awarded by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. Joining Dr. Stephanie Billings of Holyoke Health Center, Cindy is one of only two statewide recipients. She will receive this honor at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers’ Annual Awards Gala on June 7th. 

Read the story in The Sun.

Cindy leads Lowell CHC’s school-based health center program, which includes centers at Lowell High School and Stoklosa Middle School. 

Susan West Levine, CEO of Lowell CHC, speaks highly of Cindy: “Cindy’s dedication is evident the moment she speaks about her students and you see the smile and passion on her face. Her leadership has transformed our School-Based Health Centers into environments that are safe havens for students where they can receive comprehensive care and support.” 

Kumble Rajesh, Chief Medical Officer, comments on Cindy’s holistic approach: “Cindy ensures all students, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, receive complete health services. Her work addresses their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.” 

Elizabeth Hale, Chief Operating Officer, remarks on Cindy’s role: “Cindy is more than a clinician; she’s a trusted caregiver and advocate. Her innovative practices and commitment to health equity exemplify what this award signifies.” 

Cindy Slaga reflects on the award: “Thank you! I am truly honored. I appreciate all the support that has been given to the growth of the school-based health program. I am excited to share this recognition with our entire school-based health center team and the youth of Lowell. This award inspires me to continue the very important work of a community health center in meeting the unique healthcare needs of the community.” 

Since 2016, Cindy has been pivotal in Lowell CHC’s School-Based Health Center program, focusing on adolescent health. Her efforts during the pandemic and her continuous work in promoting health equity and innovative youth health services underscore her worthiness of this recognition. 

Cindy’s initiatives, like offering diverse contraceptive services and LGBTQIA+ support, and integrating behavioral health services into the School-Based Health Center program, demonstrate her commitment to addressing the varied needs of students. Additionally, her work providing healthcare and vaccines to refugees and new arrivals during summer breaks highlights her dedication to health equity. Most recently, she’s launched a Youth Advisory Council to further engage and ensure a student-centric program. 

Lowell CHC’s School-Based Health Centers facilitate academic achievement by ensuring medical and behavioral health services are accessible in the school environment. Recognizing that addressing students’ physical and mental health needs increases their readiness for learning, the centers aim to reduce class time missed and enhance lifelong success. 

January 30, 2024

Dr. Cara Marshall Named Inaugural Director of Family Medical Residency Program

LOWELL, MA — [1/30/24] — Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) is pleased to announce Cara Marshall, M.D., as the Inaugural Director of its planned Family Medical Residency Program. Dr. Marshall’s extensive academic and professional journey, particularly in social medicine and community health, positions her ideally for the directorship.

Read the article in The Sun for news coverage of this announcement.

The Family Medicine Residency Program will be a key component of Lowell Community Health Center’s planned Health Justice Learning InstituteÓ and is set to become only the second accredited Teaching Health Center in Massachusetts operated by a Federally Qualified Health Center.

“Dr. Marshall’s addition to our team is a significant milestone for Lowell CHC. Her background in family medicine, commitment to equity and community health, and her dedication to fostering educational rigor are exactly what we need,” stated Dr. Kumble Rajesh, Chief Medical Officer of Lowell CHC. “Our program will emphasize a healthcare education that is grounded in community needs, practitioner leadership, and antiracism, and Dr. Marshall will be instrumental in embedding these values into our new residency initiative.”

A graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine through an accelerated B.S./M.D. program, Dr. Marshall completed her residency at Montefiore Medical Center’s Residency Program in Social Medicine. She has been recognized with several accolades, notably the Family Medicine Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Marshall brings experience in curriculum development and resident supervision from her previous roles. She has contributed to several initiatives on diversity and health equity.

Dr. Marshall noted, “joining Lowell CHC is an extraordinary chance to impact the future of family medicine and the delivery of healthcare within the community. We will be training doctors in Lowell, for Lowell.”

The residency will occupy a state-of-the-art 16,000-square-foot facility on the 5th floor of Lowell CHC, opening its doors to six residents annually starting in 2026. By year 3, the Family Medicine Residency program will provide more than 5,000 residents of Greater Lowell with 18 new Primary Care Providers.

Program residents will hone their skills, fully aware of the impacts of the social determinants of health such as racism and privilege, alongside other members of the care team. Our distinctive programs and innovative modelÓ will empower our next generation of physicians to be collaborative and committed to equity in their practice. The Residency will help prepare a diverse workforce to meet the growing need for cultural proficiency in healthcare settings – meaningfully & sustainably. Earlier this year, Lowell CHC received a $500,000 planning grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for this residency program, developed in collaboration with Tufts Medicine. Collaborating with Tufts Medicine will enable Lowell CHC to meet rigorous accreditation standards which require resources beyond the health center, including inpatient hospital rotations for rounding, access to a medical library, and on-call rooms for residents to sleep during rotations. The medical residents will rotate between Lowell CHC and Tufts Medicine-affiliated hospitals, including Lowell General Hospital.

January 22, 2024

Dr. Ria Robert of Lowell CHC to Lead “Healthy Aging in Older Adults” Session at Harvard Medical School

LOWELL, MA — January 22, 2024 — Lowell Community Health Center’s Dr. Ria Robert will serve as a faculty member in the upcoming Harvard Medical School course, ‘Advancing Health Equity: Skills for Health Care Providers’, scheduled for January 23-25, 2024. Dr. Robert is the Medical Director at Lowell Community Health Center’s Program for Healthy Aging.

In the session titled ‘Healthy Aging in Older Adults: Practical Recommendations,’ Dr. Robert will facilitate discussions aimed at educating healthcare professionals on effectively dismantling barriers to health equity and creating impactful change in clinical settings. The course will address healthcare challenges in historically racialized and minoritized communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and among elderly populations. Her expertise as a Yale-trained Internist, Harvard-educated Geriatrician and part-time Clinical Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, in addition to her vocal advocacy for diversity in medicine, makes her a key contributor to this course. Dr. Robert’s comprehensive approach to geriatric medicine focuses on the Geriatric “5 Ms” Framework – Mind, Mobility, Multi-Complexity, Medications, and Matters Most, which addresses the complex needs of our older adults.

January 11, 2024

Health Insurance Fairs

Lowell Sun Article