Heywood Hospital is committed to improving the health and well being of the communities it serves through its Community Benefit program. Heywood collaborates with health and educational social service organizations throughout the region to measure and assess health status and quality of life for the region, and develop and/or foster programs, services and systems change designed to address health concerns, achieve health equity and overcome barriers to healthcare access.
Heywoods Community Benefit program is undertaken with partners and collaborators such as the Joint Coalition on Health of North Central Mass., the Community Health Network Area # 9, the Gardner Area InterAgency Team, the Gardner and Winchendon Public Schools and like-minded partners.
Examples of Heywood's Community Benefit programs include:
Off Our Rockers Afterschool Program
Offered free of charge to students in grades 1-3 at Waterford Street School and Holy Rosary School, the program combines activity with nutritional information and healthy snacks to encourage children to make healthy choices. The program was developed as a step in the fight against childhood obesity, a growing trend locally and nationally. The program is run by Heywood Diabetes Educator Doug Miller, and by School Nurse, Becky Johnson.
Patient Financial Services
The Patient Financial Services Department staff helps uninsured and underinsured people access affordable healthcare. This department is designed to help people access health insurance by offering assistance with application and enrollment into goverment-sponsored programs such as Commonwealth Care and MassHealth, as well as the Medical Security Program.
Those who are not eligible for those programs may be eligible for full or partial freecare for hospital services under the Massachusetts Health Safety Net Fund (HSN).
The financial counselors are available at Heywood Hospital in Gardner and Athol Hospital located in Athol. The Heywood site serves Ashburnham, Gardner, Hubbardston, Templeton, Westminster and Winchendon. The Athol site serves Athol, Orange, New Salem, Phillipston, Royalston, Wendell, Warwick, Petersham and Erving.