Mass League of Community Health Centers holds annual awards gala

COPLEY SQUARE — 500 guests attended the Massachusetts League of Community Health Center’s 2019 awards gala, The Great Outdoors, where the state Majority Leader Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy), MassHealth Assistant Secretary and Medicaid Director for the Commonwealth Dan Tsai, and seven exceptional health center employees were recognized for their outstanding service to community health centers and the patients they serve.

The event was held on June 7, 2019 at the Westin Copley Place hotel.

As a major architect of the state’s sequential health care reform laws, Leader Mariano has been a longtime proponent of health centers, recognizing their unique role in helping the Commonwealth expand patient access, improve quality, and contain costs across the health system. Most recently, the Majority Leader is spearheading legislative efforts to establish a Community Health Center Transformation Fund intended to alleviate the severe financial distress some health centers are facing while also positioning them to transform under MassHealth’s groundbreaking healthcare delivery initiatives, according to a press release from the organization.

Assistant Secretary Tsai, along with Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, has been the chief engineer of the state’s five-year value-based transformation initiative to improve care and lower costs within the state’s Medicaid program. As a central part of those efforts, Tsai has worked to keep primary care at the center of the state’s newly launched Accountable Care Organizations and to secure more than $115 million in federal Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment investments to build and strengthen healthcare infrastructure and workforce capacity across Massachusetts, including at community health centers, the press release said.

In addition to recognition for Mariano and Tsai, seven health center employees will be recognized for their outstanding achievements:

Outstanding Community Health Center Clinicians
Evelyne Delori, NP, Lowell Community Health Center
Mary Lunsford, MD, DotHouse Health

Outstanding Community Board Member
Linda Kelly, Manet Community Health Center

Outstanding Community Health Center CEO
Sandra Cotterell, Codman Square Health Center

Outstanding Community Health Center Employees
Matilda Correia, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center
Mohamed Fouzi Raheb, Family Health Center of Worcester

Edward M. Kennedy Founder Award
Toni McGuire, RN, MPH, Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

The League’s annual awards gala constitutes the single largest gathering of community health center leaders and advocates, attracting upward of 600 attendees each year. Former notable awardees include Governor Charlie Baker, the late US Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the late Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, US Senator Elizabeth Warren and EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders.

All photos by Bill Brett

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