LOWELL, MA – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) joined representatives from Lowell Community Health Center (CHC), and MA Representative Vanna Howard to announce a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant to provide direct patient services to Afghan survivors of combat. The Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat (SASIC) program at Lowell CHC’s Metta Health Center will be receiving a three-year grant, totaling $2,769,246.
Of the 24 organizations across the country to be awarded SASIC funding, the Metta Health Center at Lowell Community Health Center was the only New England site selected.
“Lowell Community Health Center is a bedrock in our community, and I’m proud to be a longtime supporter of their work. They provide quality, culturally competent care to folks from all backgrounds in our diverse district, and there’s no better example of that than the Metta Health Center,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan. “I’m excited to see this federal funding go toward expanding the holistic work the Metta Health Center already does for families from all walks of life in the Third District. And I’m particularly glad to see our community come together to support Afghan refugees, just as we have in the past for refugees from all over the world.”
“This funding will allow us to help Afghan survivors address and overcome severe, pervasive, and long-lasting combat-related trauma and facilitate their achievement of sustained physical, social, emotional, and economic goals and well-being. Lowell is a diverse and welcoming community, and this collaborative program allows us to support some of our city’s newest arrivals while continuing to build a just and healthy community,” said Susan West Levine, CEO of Lowell Community Health Center. “We are incredibly grateful to the Department of Health and Human Services, and to Congresswoman Trahan and MA Representative Howard for their strong support of Lowell Community Health Center.”
The Services for Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat (SASIC) program will provide coordinated care and services for up to 125 eligible Afghan survivors, delivering culturally tailored, integrated, trauma-informed, and evidence-based primary care and behavioral health care services; workforce-related, legal, community outreach, and other supports to promote well-being, self-sufficiency, and community engagement among the eligible Afghan population.
“The individuals and families who will directly benefit from this dedicated funding have complex medical, mental health, legal, and social needs that require a comprehensive and holistic response,” said Dr. Robert P. Marlin, Chief of Metta Health Center. “Without the support and collaboration of the International Institute of New England, the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project, and Dr. Diya Kallivayalil, this work would not be possible.”
The SASIC program is receiving HHS funding through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
In November, Congresswoman Trahan announced $2,375,000 in HHS funding for Lowell CHC’s “Passage to Healing” program, which provides primary and secondary survivors of torture with treatment and resources such as culturally tailored and evidence-based screenings, primary and behavioral health care, and workforce-related and legal support. The project is designed to serve as many as 325 survivors of torture annually.
About Lowell Community Health Center
Founded in 1970, Lowell CHC serves as the “family doctor” for nearly half of Lowell’s population, seeking to “provide caring, quality, and culturally appropriate health services to the people of Greater Lowell, regardless of their financial status.” For information, visit www.lchealth.org or call 978.937.9700.