Congresswoman Lori Trahan joined state and community leaders at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Thursday to celebrate $2 million in federal money she secured to expand primary health services.
As WHAV reported first in March, the money helps the Health Center expand its primary health care services at 700 Essex St., in Lawrence, by creating an additional 4,000 square feet of new space and renovating existing space and equipment.
“Before the pandemic, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center provided critical care that kept our community healthy and safe, but during the pandemic, it became a literal lifesaver,” said Trahan. “It’s hard to overstate just how essential the organization has been for families in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill.”
In addition to the benefits to patients, she said, the renovations and upgrades will create 20 new jobs in its first year after construction is completed. Trahan was joined by Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña, state Reps. Frank Moran, Marcos Devers and Christina Minicucci, members of the Lawrence City Council and Health Center leaders and staff.
Health Center CEO and President Guy Fish said “This extraordinary funding will be transformational and allow us to expand one of our busiest sites in the city of Lawrence—expanding patient access to an additional 4,000 medically underserved patients who are in need of quality healthcare.”
GLFHC currently operates seven Health Center sites in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill and has identified the need to expand services in the Lawrence. The Essex Street facility serves more than 8,000 patients, offering primary care services, opioid treatment, outreach and prevention, behavioral health services, family pharmacy services and more.
“When faced with a challenge, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center doubles down and finds a solution,” said Minicucci. “During Covid, they took over a vacant retail space and quickly transformed it into a vaccine hub for the city and the whole Merrimack Valley. With this investment of $2M, they will be able to transform it once again, this time into new medical space allowing them the ability to provide expanded health and wellness services to our community.”
The health center was also one of the early participants in President Biden’s Community Health Center Vaccination Program and has administered more than 30,000 vaccines since December 2020. Additionally, as the first teaching health center established in U.S. history, GLFHC continues to train medical professionals who will go on to serve vulnerable communities.