News

The COVID-19 Risks You May Take, And Create, While Traveling

Travel can create its own risks during the pandemic. Here are things to consider. Thanks to WBUR and Lowell CHC’s own Community Health Worker and Contact Tracer, Lorna Kiplagat for weighing in.

Getting tested for COVID-19? Here’s what it’s like

“I stand in line, ready to shove a Q-tip up my nose. My feet are planted on a black mat that reads, ‘Thank you for practicing social distancing.’ The rumble of idling cars permeates the Lowell Health Department’s parking lot. Around me, dozens of community members wait for a free COVID-19 test, offered as part of the state’s “Stop the Spread” initiative. The program targets eight municipalities — Lowell, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn, Marlboro and New Bedford — in which the number of coronavirus cases and positive test rates are above the state average. These areas have also seen a drop in testing since April, according to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office.”

Congreswoman Lori Trahan Announces $665K in Federal Funding for Lowell Community Health Center

LOWELL, MA – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan applauded the awarding of $665,000 in federal funding to support the Lowell Community Health Center. The funding, to be dispersed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, will be used to reduce health disparities of the Southeast Asian and LatinX populations of Lowell.

Is racism a public health crisis? Lowell’s mostly white City Council says no

“Political leaders who proudly promote this city’s rich diversity with annual festivals celebrating cultures of origin from Southeast Asia to Africa were taken aback last month when their “listening session” on race elicited residents’ painful experiences with racism right here in Lowell.”

An open letter from physician leaders at Lowell Community Health Center

“As physician leaders in our Greater Lowell community, we are dedicated to taking care of patients across the entire life spectrum. Throughout the course of our practice, we have had the opportunity to hear thousands of patient stories about their lives, their conditions, their struggles and their accomplishments. As part of these stories, one thing becomes quite certain — the intersection of race and health cannot and should not be ignored.”

Experts say racism impacts public health

“David Turcotte and a team of collaborators have compiled and published the Greater Lowell Community Health Needs Assessment every three years since 2013. The lengthy document probes factors influencing residents’ health, like housing, education and employment. It analyses public health data and identifies residents in the community with the highest risk.”

Clinic gets children ‘back on track’ with vaccines

“As COVID-19 spread across the region, Vanessa Perez worried that her 16-month-old daughter would not receive important vaccines on time. The last time the Lowell resident and her daughter, Jeyla Aponte, had visited the Lowell Community Health Center was shortly after Aponte turned a year old in February. Then, amid the pandemic, the health center shifted most visits to telehealth, and stopped administering pediatric vaccines. Aponte needed her 15-month vaccines and blood work, Perez said.”

Is racism a public health crisis in Lowell?

“A group of local organizations, businesses and community members is asking the city of Lowell to follow Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s lead and declare racism a public health crisis.

‘His actions lay bare what we know to be true: we cannot address structural racism and inequities in our City by sticking to the status quo,’ according to the letter. ‘Instead, we must take decisive steps towards change. We strongly urge you to join the City of Boston in declaring racism a public health crisis and commit to addressing it immediately.’”

Lowell Community Health Center pair heads up COVID-19 test site

“Before COVID-19 began to sweep through Massachusetts and the country, Samantha Jordan and Lindsey Roberts never had much of an opportunity to work together. As chief of dental services and laboratory supervisor, respectively, at Lowell Community Health Center, their paths weren’t often likely to cross. But since late April, the two havebeen working together three days a week, helping to collect specimens at the health center’s COVID-19 testing operation on Jackson Street.”

Lowell CHC's Hilda Bettencourt, honored for more than 40 years of service

Hilda Bettencourt remembers being in her early 20s when she was interviewed to fill a position as a Portuguese translator at the Lowell Community Health Center in 1978. Bettencourt says she was hired the same day. After more than four decades working for the health center, the now 65-year-old Bettencourt worked her last day on Friday and officially retired.

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