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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 Broadens Availability of Virtual Visits for all Patients

March 19, 2020

Community Health Center of Cape Cod is prepared to meet the health care needs of our patients during the rapidly changing COVID-19 environment by offering expanded telehealth appointments, also known as virtual visits. Virtual visits may be accomplished through a more detailed phone call or through our video conferencing application within our patient’s electronic health record. In accordance with the latest guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we encourage patients to call prior to visiting the Health Center. Many health conditions may be addressed virtually, reducing the risk of community exposure to COVID-19.  

For individuals who have a computer or tablet with an internet connection or a smartphone, they will be able to check-in for your virtual visit using the MyChart patient portal and can launch a video conference through this service. Not all services can be offered virtually, but a virtual visit can be appropriate for some preventive care, follow-up, behavioral health and chronic disease management visits. 

To learn more about virtual visits at the Health Center, please call (508) 477-7090 to be connected to the Patient Engagement team.  If you believe you are experiencing symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough) or have reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please let our team know upon calling.  Health Center patients may also message their health care provider through the MyChart patient portal.  For additional information from Community Health Center of Cape Cod, and their efforts surrounding COVID-19, visit www.chcofcapecod.org/coronavirus.  

To see a demonstration of the virtual visits and for additional information on how to access them, please click here.  

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

March 10, 2020

We know that the current situation regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to evolve rapidly.  Community Health Center of Cape Cod is monitoring the situation with the latest guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide updated information to our patients as it becomes available. 

Please visit our coronavirus page to learn more.

If you have any questions, you can call the Health Center at (508) 477-7090.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod Ranked in the Top 10% of Health Centers Nationally for Clinical Quality

October 23, 2019

Mashpee – Community Health Center of Cape Cod has been recognized as a 2019 Health Center Quality Leader by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s Bureau of Primary Healthcare. The Health Center has received recognition for ranking among the top 10% of health centers nationally for clinical quality – the first time in the organization’s history that they have received this honor.

This recognition by HRSA was for numerous quality improvement achievements in 2019. In addition to the top 10% Quality Leader recognition for clinical quality measures, Community Health Center of Cape Cod was recognized in a number of subcategories of the Improving Quality of Care Awards. These categories are Clinical Quality Improvers, demonstrating at least 15% improvement on a clinical quality measure; Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality Award, for utilizing five HIT services and/or telehealth services to increase access to care and advance quality of care; and Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition, for having patient centered medical home recognition (PCMH) in one or more delivery sites. The Health Center is honored to be recognized by HRSA as a health center leader in these categories and will continue to work on quality improvement efforts to provide the best care possible for the community.  The Health Center has offices in Mashpee, Falmouth, Bourne and Centerville, and provides integrated care services for anyone in the community who needs it, regardless of ability to pay.

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

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.