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Community Benefit

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.

Heywood's 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 government-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 free care 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.

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Community Health Needs Assessment

The 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) of Heywood Healthcare's Athol and Heywood Hospitals presents issues related to the health, wellbeing and related factors that impact the health of those living in Heywood Healthcare’s catchment area (from here on referred to as the “Service Area”). This study was a collaborative effort conducted by Heywood Healthcare’s Heywood Hospital and Athol Hospital; the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission; UMASS Memorial Health Alliance Clinton Hospital; The CHNA 9 Group; and John Snow, Inc. Various other organizations and individuals also contributed to this effort, including community-based organizations and health service partners, as well as advocacy efforts from hospitals, health centers, rehabilitation centers, primary care physician and specialty networks, public health networks and local schools. Staff at the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) were responsible for conducting research and analysis efforts for this study. MRPC is located in Leominster, Massachusetts.

2018 Heywood Healthcare Community Health Needs Assessment