News







Community Health Center of Cape Cod Hires Director of Optometry and Expands Optometry Services

March 13, 2019

Community Health Center of Cape Cod is excited to welcome Dr. Thomas Andrea OD, FAAO as Director of Optometry Services. Dr. Andrea, a resident of Sandwich, most recently served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the New England School of Optometry and as an Attending Optometrist at the Lynn Community Health Center.

Dr. Andrea received his Doctor of Optometry (OD) from the New England College of Optometry (NECO) in Boston and completed his residency in Ocular Disease and Primary Care at VA Boston Healthcare System in Brockton, MA. He continues to serve as the Director of the NECO Alumni Association and is a member of the American Optometric Association and the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists. He received his Fellowship with the American Academy of Optometry at the most recent meeting in November of 2018.  Dr. Andrea is accepting new patients ages 6 and up and has an interest in caring for patients with systemic and ocular diseases, such as diabetes, macular degeneration and co-managing glaucoma. Community Health Center of Cape Cod offers optometry services at their Mashpee office located at 107 Commercial Street, and has recently increased its optometry services with the addition of teleretinal cameras at its Falmouth and Bourne offices.  The optometry office in Mashpee will also be expanded soon, and these latest developments will allow for improved eye care and overall health for a broader spectrum of patients in the community

Cape Cod Times: New primary care, walk-in health office added in Centerville

February 11, 2019

The below article was written by Cynthia McCormick of the Cape Cod Times.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod patient Rob Caggiula, of Mashpee, right, checks into the front desk with Fernanda Nogueira, who works in patient services. Community Health Center opened a new branch Jan. 31 in Centerville. [Merrily Cassidy Photos/Cape Cod Times]

CENTERVILLE — The Cape’s nonprofit community health centers continue to grow, with the Mashpee-based Community Health Center of Cape Cod recently opening a fourth location in Centerville.

Located at 1185B Falmouth Road, the Centerville office offers primary care and walk-in service from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Walk-in services in Centerville are available to the general public, not just the health center’s registered patients, said Christopher Ellis, who is director of organizational advancement. The Centerville office held a grand opening Jan. 31.

The health center plans to add two dental chairs to the Centerville location later this year, making dentistry available at all of its locations including Bourne, Falmouth and Mashpee, Ellis said.

The health center got its start 21 years ago as the Falmouth Free Clinic, with a volunteer staff dedicated to serving people who didn’t have insurance.

Ten years later a 10,000-square-foot office opened in Mashpee and in 2012 another 22,000 square feet was added.

Now serving more than 17,000 patients, the health center has an annual budget of of $18 million for 2019, Ellis said.

Last year, 13 percent of the operating revenue came from state and federal grants and 10 percent from philanthropy, he said.

Revenue from patient services came to 77 percent, Ellis said.

The 3,000-square-foot Centerville renovation cost $690,000 and is being funded mainly by philanthropy, said Karen Gardner, CEO of the organization.

The new location was opened to help serve the community health center’s 2,300 patients from Barnstable, Ellis said.

“The addition of a Community Health Center of Cape Cod office in Centerville will allow us to expand access to care for our patients and the community as a whole,” Gardner wrote in an email.

Of the health center’s patients, 41 percent are on MassHealth, 23 percent are on Medicare, five percent have no insurance and the rest receive coverage either through Connector Care or private insurance, Ellis said.

“We continue to see increased demand for integrated care services, and we want to be able to meet those demands with convenient and accessible services where our patients live and work,” she said.

Over the years, the Center has added services such as pharmacy, optometry and behavioral health.

“I think they’re fantastic. They’re very caring,” said Rob Caggiula of Mashpee, who went Tuesday to the Centerville office.

A regular patient, Caggiula, who owns a landscaping business, said the Centerville office was able to take him as a walk-in on a slow day for his business.

A community health center typically is located in or serves an area that is considered medically underserved, is governed by a community boards, provides comprehensive primary health care and other services, and provides services to all based on ability to pay.

On Cape Cod, Community Health Center of Cape Cod is not the only community health center expanding services.

The Duffy Health Center in Hyannis, which serves 3,200 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, moved into its new building in 2011 and recently completed a $500,000 renovation, said Duffy CEO Heidi Romans Nelson.

Outer Cape Health Services closed a clinic in South Harwich and opened an expanded clinic in Harwich Port in December, said Outer Cape spokesman Gerry Desautels.

The Wellfleet center is closed for renovations that will expand its footprint by 50 percent when it reopens, which is expected to be in June, Desautels said.

Outer Cape Health Services sees 17,000 patients annually, Desautels said. He estimated it has 300 new patients since opening the Harwich Port clinic and has expanded its service area to include Dennis and Yarmouth in addition to the eight easternmost towns on Cape Cod.

Outer Cape Health Services had operated a dental service out of its Provincetown office, but last year the nonprofit signed an agreement with Harbor Health Services, which has a clinic in Hyannis, to run the dental program, Desautels said.

Harbor Health Services opened its Hyannis clinic in 2003 and provides medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare, said Ami Bowen, the agency’s director of community relations.

“We are looking to offer more patients recovery services in Hyannis,” Bowen said in an email. “We are also looking to expand our dental care at our Ellen Jones Dental Health Center in Harwich and are currently looking for a potential new site.”

Harbor Health has 13,400 patients in Hyannis and Harwich, Bowen said.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Hosts Grand Opening of New Centerville Location

February 7, 2019

Community Health Center of Cape Cod hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Centerville office, located at 1185B Falmouth Road, on January 31. There was a great turnout of Board Members, donors, patients, staff, volunteers and community partners to officially open the new office. Community Health Center of Cape Cod Chief Executive Officer Karen Gardner welcomed the crowd and provided information about the Health Center’s expansion and Massachusetts State Representative Will Crocker also made remarks about the importance of health centers on the Cape. All of the guests at the ribbon cutting were able to tour the new office and meet the Centerville staff.

“Cutting the ribbon today at our Centerville office is our first step in providing access to affordable health care to even more Cape Cod residents,” Gardner said. “Over the last twenty years, we have seen tremendous patient growth and recognized a need for a location on the mid-Cape to keep up with the demand for health care services.  Now that our new Centerville office is officially open, we look forward to offering high-quality, affordable, integrated health care closer to our patients and to the community as a whole.”

Community Health Center of Cape Cod’s Centerville office currently offers primary and walk-in care services, and dental services will be offered later this year. The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary to utilize walk-in services for treatment and care of minor injuries and illnesses, and services are open to the public, regardless of if you are a patient at the Health Center.

For more information about Community Health Center of Cape Cod, please visit www.chcofcapecod.org or call (508) 477-7090.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod’s New Centerville Location Now Open

January 3, 2019

Community Health Center of Cape Cod has opened an office in Centerville, located at 1185B Falmouth Road in the Gosnold building. This new CHC location provides walk-in care services and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary to utilize walk-in services for treatment and care of minor injuries and illnesses, and services are open to the public.

Walk-in services that can be treated at the Health Center’s Centerville office include colds, flu, strep and sore throats; sinus infections; urinary tract infections; bites and stings; minor lacerations; cuts and burns; health screenings; rashes and other minor injuries or illnesses.

“We care for more than 15,000 patients across Cape Cod, and we have seen an increased need for comprehensive, high quality, compassionate health care from individuals living and working on Cape Cod,” said Karen Gardner, Chief Executive Officer at Community Health Center of Cape Cod. “Our new Centerville office will provide more access to care to our patients and the entire community as a whole.”

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on January 31, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. Community Health Center of Cape Cod’s Centerville location is its fourth office, joining those in Mashpee, Falmouth and Bourne. For more information about Community Health Center of Cape Cod, please visit www.chcofcapecod.org or call (508) 477-7090.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Receives $25,000 Partnership Grant for Capital Needs from Eastern Bank

October 17, 2018

Community Health Center of Cape Cod announced it has received a $25,000 Partnership Grant from Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual bank. The grant will help fund CHC’s expansion into its fourth office, which will be in Centerville.

Eastern Bank CHC Donation 2018

The new Centerville location, conveniently located on Route 28 at West Main Street in the Gosnold building, will provide the Mid, Lower and Outer Cape communities with more access to affordable health care. CHC’s Centerville expansion will offer primary care and preventative services, dental care, behavioral health and addictions services in collaboration with Gosnold staff and telehealth opportunities so patients can consult with providers in other CHC offices.

“Since 2012, the number of CHC patients from the seven villages of Barnstable has increased 63 percent,” said Karen Gardner, CEO of Community Health Center of Cape Cod. “A location in the heart of Barnstable will significantly ease the transportation burdens these patients face in receiving care. It will also help CHC provide easier access to care to even more individuals from the villages of Barnstable and beyond. We’re thankful that Eastern Bank supports our mission and are honored to receive their Partnership Grant to help fund our expansion.”

“Nonprofits provide services essential to building thriving communities, yet their growth is stymied far too often,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “We realized this as an area where we could help to do good and established our Partnership Grant program to specifically fund capital needs. Nonprofits are no different than for profit businesses in that they require funding to grow, but it can be especially challenging for nonprofits to secure it. We’re proud to support and congratulate the 2018 Partnership Grant recipients.”

Since 1999, on average, Eastern Bank has given 10 percent of its net income – seven times the national average – to charity each year, which now totals over $110 million. The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has several different grantmaking programs that support the Bank’s culture rooted in community service and the pursuit of social justice and opportunity for all. The Foundation’s Partnership Grant program specifically funds nonprofit capital needs. CHC is among 10 nonprofits each receiving a $25,000 Partnership Grant in 2018. In total, Eastern is granting $250,000 in Partnership Grants this year to nonprofits in communities from New Hampshire to Cape Cod and throughout the North Shore, South Shore, Merrimack Valley, MetroWest and Greater Boston.

Information about all of Eastern Bank’s grant-giving programs is available here.

To support CHC’s Centerville project, or to learn more about the expansion, please visit the organization’s support page.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Raises $68,000 at 18th Annual Golf Tournament

October 9, 2018

Community Health Center of Cape Cod hosted another successful golf tournament this year at Pocasset Golf Club on Monday, September 24, raising $68,000 in funds to support the Health Center, the most ever, and welcoming 112 individual golfers, the most since 2007. An incredible turnout of sponsors, committee members, players and volunteers participated in the tournament, the Maney Family Putting Contest, raffles and a live auction.

CHC of Cape Cod 18th Annual Golf Tournament

To view pictures from the event, please click here.

CHC of Cape Cod thanks its generous gold sponsors for their support: Cape and Islands Kitchens, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, Dellbrook | JKS, Group Brokerage Insurance Agency, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Falmouth Lumber, MEDCOM, Physicians Insurance Agency of Mass, Inc., Raponi Drywall & Plastering, Slade Mortgage, The Valle Group and W.B. Mason.

The mission of Community Health Center of Cape Cod is to improve the health of our community through the provision of comprehensive, high quality, compassionate health care to all, regardless of ability to pay. CHC provides care to more than 15,000 individuals within a complete medical home model, where multidisciplinary, integrated health services are provided under one roof to assist patients in overcoming transportation, affordability, financial, linguistic, cultural and other barriers to care. Funds raised from the annual golf tournament directly benefit CHC’s mission.

For more on how to get involved with CHC of Cape Cod, please visit www.chcofcapecod.org/get-involved or contact the Advancement Department at (508) 477-5990.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod to Host Open House at New Bourne Retail Pharmacy

October 3, 2018

Community Health Center of Cape Cod will host an open house at its new Bourne retail pharmacy, located at 123 Waterhouse Road, on Wednesday, October 10th from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free to attend, the open house will celebrate the pharmacy’s availability to the public. Join the CHC of Cape Cod team for light refreshments and a tour of the facility!

What: Open house at Community Health Center of Cape Cod’s new Bourne retail pharmacy

When: Wednesday, October 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where: 123 Waterhouse Road, Bourne, MA 02532

The Bourne retail pharmacy is open to all, regardless of if you are a CHC patient. Those who are not patients can request their current physician to fill prescriptions at the pharmacy, which is open during convenient hours. CHC’s Bourne retail pharmacy offers open communication between individuals and experienced pharmacy staff to help manage medical conditions and fast resolution of medication-related issues. Vaccines are also available to all upon request.

CHC of Cape Cod continues adding new services to provide community access to high quality, affordable, integrated care. The new Bourne retail pharmacy is its latest step to ease transportation and financial concerns for Cape Cod residents and visitors. For more information on the Bourne retail pharmacy, or any services at the three CHC locations, please contact the Advancement office at 508-477-5990.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Wins Five 2018 HRSA Awards in Quality Improvement

September 19, 2018

Community Health Center of Cape Cod was recently recognized by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Bureau of Primary Healthcare for numerous quality improvement achievements in 2018. The non-profit organization was awarded grants for its success in Electronic Health Record Reporting, Clinical Quality Improvement, Health Center Quality, Advancing Health Information Technology and Achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition.

HRSA’s Quality Improvement Awards further the organization’s commitment to improve the overall quality, efficiency and value of health care services for the more than 27 million patients served at health centers. These awards recognize the highest performing health centers nationwide as well as the health centers that have made significant quality improvement gains from the previous year.

CHC of Cape Cod was recognized in three subcategories of the Improving Quality of Care Awards, including:

  • Electronic Health Record Reporting: awarded to those who employed electronic health records to report on all clinical quality measure data for patients
  • Clinical Quality Improvement: awarded to those who made at least a 10% improvement in one or more clinical quality measures between 2016 and 2017
  • Health Center Quality Leadership: awarded to those who achieved the best overall clinical performance among all health centers and placed in the top 30% of the adjusted quartile rankings for clinical quality measures

CHC of Cape Cod also received recognition in the Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) category, recognizing health centers that utilized HIT systems to increase access to care and advance quality of care, for Achieving Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition. For these awards, the Health Center received a grant to help enhance quality improvement efforts.

“Technology continues to enhance how we deliver health care and how we advance towards better patient outcomes.  We take great pride in using state of the art systems to help us improve quality of care,” said Katy O’Connell, Chief Operating Officer at CHC. “We’re honored to be recognized by HRSA as a health center leader in these categories and look forward to using these grants to support our quality improvement program at the Health Center.”

For more information, please contact the Advancement office at 508-477-5990.

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 Also covered by the Cape Cod Times.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Dedicates Outreach and Enrollment Center to Founders, and Center for Health Access to Mary Ann Waygan

August 29, 2018

Though Community Health Center of Cape Cod has expanded since its humble beginnings as the Falmouth Free Clinic, the organization continues to honor its roots. During this year’s National Health Center Week, held from August 12-18, CHC announced the dedication of its Outreach and Enrollment Center to its collective founders. Mary Ann Waygan, one of these founders, was additionally honored with the opening of the Mary Ann Waygan Center for Health Access.

CHC is honored to have the support of many founders who volunteered their time and expertise years ago to deliver high quality care for the community’s most vulnerable patients. These founders had a vision to create a free clinic where everyone in the community could receive care and no one would be turned away. This vision has remained the backbone of CHC’s mission. Going forward, when referencing its Outreach and Enrollment Center on the website, brochures, grant applications and more, CHC will do so with the collective dedication to its founders.

“It was a unanimous, and clear, decision to dedicate our Outreach and Enrollment Center to the founders, without whom we wouldn’t be where we are today,” said Karen Gardner, CEO of Community Health Center of Cape Cod. “Along with numerous volunteers, they put in countless hours of patient care and support because they knew there was an underserved community that needed help. This selfless act redefined how our community is able to access medical care. Our appreciation to our founders is immeasurable.”

At the dedication ceremony, CHC also announced the opening of the Mary Ann Waygan Center for Health Access, honoring Waygan’s initial vision that has since grown to three locations and over 15,000 patients. The Mary Ann Waygan Center for Health Access is located in CHC’s Bourne office and will eventually be staffed with three patient engagement specialists. These individuals will be trained to ensure patients receive proper care at the right time and in the right place, based on their unique needs. They will be able to make appointments directly, check on referral status, conduct outreach for missed appointments and more.

For more information about the Health Center, please contact Sydnie Lopolito in the Advancement office at (508) 477-5990 or by email at slopolito@chcofcapecod.org.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Honors Health Care Heroes During National Health Center Week

August 16, 2018

Community Health Center of Cape Cod is honoring its health care heroes during National Health Center Week with a number of staff recognition events, awards and activities. These individuals work hard every day to ensure the health of our community and always put patients first.

CHC of Cape Cod hosts a staff of 174 health care heroes who serve more than 15,000 underserved, underinsured and uninsured patients. Here is an inside look at the faces behind the organization that has provided twenty years of high quality, affordable, integrated health care to the community.

Medical Assistants and Nurses

With over 85,000 blood pressures, countless barrier assessments and screenings, lab tests, foot exams and more completed, the medical assistant and nursing teams, made up of 37 individuals, are essential to CHC of Cape Cod’s success.

Dental, Optometry and Pharmacy

CHC of Cape Cod’s dental, optometry and pharmacy teams, made up of 45 individuals, bring tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism to CHC of Cape Cod.

Enrollment, Health Information and Patient Access

The 31 individuals in CHC of Cape Cod’s enrollment, health information and patient access teams are often the first point of communication for new and existing patients, and they take on every task with a smile.

Behavioral Health and Medical Providers

CHC of Cape Cod’s 34 behavioral health and medical providers are some of the best in the business, acting as both caregivers and a confidant support system.

Accounting, Administration, Advancement, Billing, HR and IT

The 27 accounting, administration, advancement, billing, HR and IT employees at CHC of Cape Cod often work behind the scenes but are no less important to the organization’s success.

Patients, Volunteers, Community Supporters, Board and Donors

CHC of Cape Cod would also not be where it is today without the support of its loyal patients, volunteers, community supporters, board and donors. On National Health Center Week, the organization celebrates these health care heroes as a vital extension of its staff.

To learn more about getting involved, please visit www.chcofcapecod.org/get-involved.