The Recorder – $50,000 grant to support administrative space at Franklin County Community Health Center in Orange

Published: 05/30/2022 10:55:15

ORANGE – The Franklin County Community Health Center plans to use a $50,000 state grant to renovate the upper portion of one of its two orange buildings to create more administrative space.

Dr. Allison van der Velden, CEO of the health center, explained that the money will pay for work inside the multi-tenant building on the west side of the Health Center Plaza, formerly Aubuchon Plaza, at 119 New Athol Road. The Franklin County Community Health Center closed in August 2020 and opened the following year, having established a medical facility and dental office in the main building. However, an upstairs renovation in the adjacent structure was not possible at this time.

Van der Velden acknowledged it’s “not the sexiest project” as it’s purely functional, but it will create office space and vital patient services, where information will be gathered from patients before an appointment. you.

“We just don’t have office space anymore and we don’t want to have to encroach on our patient care space to get the job done,” she explained.

The $50,000 is part of more than $1 million awarded to 22 health centers across the state through MassDevelopment’s Community Health Center Grant Program, which provides grants for health care projects. capital improvements including construction, renovation, equipment, furniture and technology projects. than pandemic-related facility needs.

“By providing affordable health care and social services to vulnerable populations in Massachusetts, Community Health Centers are much-needed assets in our neighborhoods,” Dan Rivera, president and CEO of MassDevelopment, said in a statement. “As we try to bounce back from the pandemic, it is more important than ever to support the critical capital projects and improvements of these organizations through our Community Health Center Grant Program.

“We are very grateful to MassDevelopment for the funding,” said van der Velden, adding that work on the Orange site will begin as soon as a contractor is selected. “We are really, really lucky to have this resource.”

The Franklin County Community Health Center provides medical, dental, and behavioral care, and supports social services such as transportation, language interpretation, and insurance navigator services. In December 2021, the organization partnered with the Behavioral Health Network to launch the Orange Opioid Treatment Program – the state’s first rural methadone clinic – at 119 New Athol Road, Suite 210. Methadone is a medication daily approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorder.

Schedules and contact details for the Orange site are available at There are also locations at 102 Main St. in Greenfield and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

Contact Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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