FRAMINGHAM – In an effort to bring the community together to recognize the collective accomplishments that have been made during this unprecedented time, Edward M. Kennedy Community HealthCenter (Kennedy Community Health) announced its first Virtual Roaring ‘20s
Costume Party and Awards Event. The event will take place entirely through online venues on Saturday, October 3, 2020, and will begin at 5 p.m.
During the first hour of the program, Kennedy Community Health President and CEO, Stephen J. Kerrigan, and Kennedy Community
Health Board Chair, Valerie Zolezzi-Wyndham, will present the Health Center’s annual Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Awards.
Video clips from awardees, Kennedy Community Health staff, and board members will recognize the collective work and efforts of individuals and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Health Center is recognizing one local, one regional, and one national organization for their outstanding efforts to address growing community need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards will be presented to: Worcester Together, Project Bread, and YUSA.
Immediately following the awards presentation, attendees will be able to enjoy entertainment provided by local comedian, Cindy Gray, and music by Niki Luparelli and the Gold Diggers.
Kennedy Community Health will also launch an online auction, featuring artwork from local artists, work-from-home packages, gift cards from local restaurants, fitness packages, and more. The auction will run for two weeks following the event.
Worcester Together is a collaboration between the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and United Way of Central Massachusetts. These organizations came together to launchWorcester Together in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The newly formed entity rapidly deployed grants and other resources to organizations throughout Worcester County that work with communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus public health crisis. The current goal of Worcester Together is to address long-term needs, complementing the work of public health officials and expanding local capacity to address impacts on the region’s most vulnerable populations. To date, Worcester Together has raised and distributed over $8.6 million.
Project Bread is committed to preventing and ending hunger in Massachusetts. They provide access to food for people who are hungry today, while working to break the cycle of hunger through advocacy, education, and community action. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Project Bread has worked quickly to scale operations to address the growing rates of food insecurity across the Commonwealth. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Project Bread worked quickly to distribute Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) cards to all students eligible for free or reduced lunch, as well as students attending school in a universal free lunch district. These gift cards were pre-loaded with funds equivalent to the cost
of the missed school meals during school closure. Project Bread also helps to support access to SNAP benefits, operates a FoodSource hotline to help identify local resources, and helps to coordinate free meal distributions across the state.
The YMCA of USA (YUSA) is working towards a better us by supporting kids, adults, seniors, and families by providing programs that protect, teach, connect, heal, nourish, and encourage. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ys across the country opened their doors to provide emergency
services to respond to the growing and changing needs. Local and national Ys provided free emergency childcare for health care workers and first responders; food for children without access to school meals; and outreach to seniors who face social isolation. As schools re-open in full-remote or hybrid learning styles, Ys are also working to provide remote learning pods to provide needed childcare and schoolwork support for school-age children and their families. In addition to the in-person emergency services at local and national Ys, sites are also providing holistic health and wellness support for all ages through virtual programming.
The mission of Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center (Kennedy Community Health) is to “help people live healthier lives.”
Founded in a Worcester housing project in 1972, today Kennedy Community Health has three medical facilities, two dental sites, two optometry practices and six school-based centers serving residents of Worcester, Framingham, Milford, and the surrounding communities of MetroWest and Central Massachusetts. Currently over 28,000 patients of all ages receive care and service through Kennedy Community Health’s family practice model of care, a comprehensive approach to the delivery of quality primary and urgent care, dental care, optometry, pharmacy, behavioral health, substance use treatment and services, social services, women’s health, HIV/AIDs treatment and services, medical specialties, nutrition counseling, laboratory, and health education programs. Kennedy Community Health is certified as a patient-centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a model that supports the flow of information among medical teams, coordinating health care visits, utilizing electronic technologies for tracking and errors prevention, and providing follow-up while, most importantly, engaging patients in their care.