News

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.

GLCF awards $531K in grants to nonprofits, including Lowell CHC

“In the latest round of funding through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation awarded $531,000 to nine local nonprofits. The funding will support nonprofits that work to provide food and housing, support for individuals with disabilities, front-line workers and immigrants, as well as other essential needs for vulnerable populations, according to a GLCF press release.”

Lowell Community Health Center doctor brings passion to telehealth

“Around 7:45 a.m., Rajesh Kumble starts his day with a call to one of his patients. Over the course of the morning the Lowell Community Health Center Chief of Pediatrics will speak with about 10 patients before spending the afternoon meeting with staff, sorting schedules and coordinating with other care providers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kumble’s routine has not changed much except that now those meetings with staff and check-ins with patients are made over the phone and via video.”

Lowell Community Health Center joins contact tracing effort

“The Lowell Community Health Center is setting up two ‘linguistically and culturally diverse’ teams to assist groundbreaking state and city contact tracing efforts aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 and enabling the state to eventually reopen.”

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