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.
The GHAP Program
The Gateway Health Access Program was begun in 1998 to connect uninsured residents with medical care at a reduced cost and to help them enroll in Mass Health. Today, the program continues to provide outreach, screening and enrollment and referral assistance, and connects thousands of people each year with health insurance.
The SBIRT Program
SBIRT stands for Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, and is also the name of a program at Heywood's Watkins Emergency Department. Begun by professors at Boston University School of Public Health, and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, SBIRT has sites in a number of Emergency Departments in Massachusetts. The program consists of a Health Promotion Advocate who works with ED Nursing Staff to conduct screenings, interventions and referrals to treatment for patients who come to our Emergency Department who may be at risk for alcohol or substance dependence. Sue Christensen is Heywood's Health Promotion Advocate, and she may be reached at (978) 630-6221.
Please see our full community benefit report for details about our Community Benefit plans, programs and priorities for the coming year.