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Service Updates for Harbor Health Locations

Update for Thursday, March 3

Due to a power outage, the dental practice at Harbor Community Health Center – Hyannis will be closed on March 3. Our pharmacy services are open and medical appointments will take place as scheduled.

All other locations have normal business hours.

Please check your health center or Elder Service Plan location below for more detailed information.

Thank you for your understanding!

SERVICE UPDATE: Hyannis Dental closed on 3/3

Please check our health center and Elder Service Plan locations for service changes below.

Community Health Centers

Geiger Gibson Community Health Center
OPEN for all services.

Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center
OPEN for all services.

Harbor Community Health Center – Plymouth
OPEN for all services.

Harbor Community Health Center – Hyannis
CLOSED FOR DENTAL SERVICES. Pharmacy services and medical appointments will take place as scheduled.

Ellen Jones Community Dental Center – Dennis
OPEN for services.

Elder Service Plan Day Centers

Elder Service Plan Day Center – Mattapan
OPEN for services.

Elder Service Plan Day Center – Brockton
OPEN for services.

Administrative Offices

OPEN

Stay safe during winter storms.

We are sharing links to helpful weather resources from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:

Traffic Alerts and Road Conditions

Winter Storm Safety Tips 

Extreme Cold Safety Tips

You can also call 2-1-1 for non-emergency storm-related questions.

Welcome to Dr. Monera Wong, Harbor’s New Chief Medical Officer

Harbor Health is pleased to welcome Dr. Monera Wong, MBBS, MRCP(UK), MPH, as our new chief medical officer!

She is an experienced clinical leader with a strong commitment to improving healthcare delivery for older adults and vulnerable populations. Her expertise in geriatric medicine across various care settings is timely as Harbor explores innovative ways to enhance support for frail elders in our community.

“Dr. Wong’s experience and success as a physician leader will contribute greatly to our work,” says Chuck Jones, President and CEO of Harbor Health. “I am grateful to have a leadership partner with her depth of experience and passion for bringing exceptional care to the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

A Career Spent Developing the Best Methods of Care for Elders and Underserved

Throughout her career, Dr. Wong has worked in geriatric medicine in long-term care, primary care, hospital, rehabilitation medicine, palliative care, community medicine, and global health settings.

She previously served as Chair of Transitional Care and Chief of Geriatric Medicine at Atrius Health and Interim Chief of Geriatric Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). While at MGH, she also was the Medical Director of the Geriatric Primary Care Practice. She was appointed Assistant Professor in Medicine, Part-Time, at Harvard Medical School in 2018.

Dr. Wong graduated from The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London, where she received the Robert & Diana Dick prize for clinical excellence. She did her residency and senior residency in the United Kingdom before completing the Harvard Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine.

She also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Commitment to Excellent Care For All

As chief medical officer, Dr. Wong will lead Harbor’s community health centers and Elder Service Plan, a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), in delivering compassionate, convenient, and patient-centered healthcare.

Moved by the dignity and strength of her patients and their families in the face of incredible challenges and limited resources, Dr. Wong is committed to providing patients of all ages with an excellent care experience.

“I am looking forward to strengthening Harbor Health’s existing system of care delivery to our older generations,” explains Dr. Wong. “Having the ability to connect with and see that all vulnerable populations in the communities we serve have greater access to exceptional healthcare and social supports is truly inspiring to me as well.”

Responding to the Surge

Dr. Wong assumed her new role at Harbor at the end of 2021 and was immediately involved in the organization’s planning and response to the recent COVID surge. She put her experience leading top-tier medical departments right to work, collaborating with our care teams to support the health and safety of our patients and staff.

We are excited to have Dr. Wong’s guidance on more of our programs and services in the months and years ahead.

Welcome Dr. Wong!

World AIDS Day 2021

Ending the Epidemic with Understanding, Support, and Prevention

HIV is a serious virus. It attacks the body’s immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infection, disease, and even cancer.

A little over one in 10 people in Massachusetts are unaware they have HIV. And that means they are not getting the care they need to stay healthy.

Since World AIDS Day was first recognized in 1988, there has been a great deal of progress in treating HIV. We understand how the virus spreads and the steps we can take to prevent it. There are treatments and care available to help people with HIV manage their health.

But people living with HIV continue to face stigma and discrimination.

To confront and dismantle the stigma that still surrounds the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Boston’s Ryan White Planning Council’s Consumer Committee launched a campaign earlier this year.

“Someone You Know & Love” features people living in Massachusetts with HIV sharing their experiences and talking about the stages in their lives where they needed support and understanding.

You can watch their stories below….

Improving Lives For People With HIV

At Harbor Health, we share the same goal as millions around the world – end the HIV epidemic by 2030.

To reach that goal, promoting understanding, providing support, and preventing new cases of HIV is something we all need to do.

Our HIV services are open to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

Thanks to Plymouth Area Community Television, we have a new public service announcement about our HIV services!

Preventing HIV

The best way to avoid HIV is prevention.

According to the CDC, you should get an HIV test as soon as possible if you were HIV-negative the last time you were tested, the test was more than one year ago, and can answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
  • Have you had sex—anal or vaginal—with a partner who has HIV?
  • Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
  • Have you injected drugs and shared needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment (for example, cookers) with others?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for another sexually transmitted disease?
  • Have you been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis or tuberculosis (TB)?
  • Have you had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions or someone whose sexual history you don’t know?

The CDC also recommends people at higher risk get tested for HIV every 3-6 months.

Free confidential HIV rapid testing services are available at Harbor’s THRIVE clinic every Wednesday, 9 am – 12 pm, at Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center, 398 Neponset Avenue. You can also call the THRIVE clinic at (617) 533-2228 and we can help you find other local testing options.

If you are at higher risk for HIV, you can also ask your provider about PrEP. PrEP stands for “Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.” It is a daily pill for people who do not have HIV but are at high risk of getting it.

The first step to getting PrEP is talking to your health care provider. Our free PrEP Navigation service can also help you get PrEP. We can connect you to services that can help you pay for PrEP and get the testing you need to get a prescription. To talk to a PrEP Navigator, call (617) 533-2319.

It’s Up To You

Taking the time to learn how to support people with HIV and how to prevent the virus will go a long way towards ending the epidemic.

Please share this page and information about HIV to help end stigma and encourage prevention!

Celebrating 50 Years at Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center

Past and present leaders share gratitude for staff for continuing the story

Harbor Health is celebrating a special milestone at one of our health centers – Daniel Driscoll – Neponset turned 50 years old in 2021!

Past and present members of the Harbor Health team joined together recently to talk about the continuing story of the health center.

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Jean Hunt, a founder of Neponset Health Center, speaking at the recent staff gathering.

Local Beginnings

In the late 1960s, a group of mothers from the Neponset and Port Norfolk areas of Dorchester sat around a kitchen table. They talked about the lack of medical care for their children.

Jean Hunt was one of those mothers.

“Before people started moving out of the city, doctors lived and worked in the community. And as they died off, younger physicians moved out to the suburbs,” Jean shared at the anniversary gathering.

Between 1940 and 1961, the ratio of general practitioners per 100,000 people had fallen from 132 to 67 in the City of Boston – a 50% decrease. The number of internists and pediatricians had also shrunk from 1.4 to 1.3 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, the number of hospital-based providers versus community-based providers had flip-flopped. In 1940, 65% of providers had offices in the community, but by 1961 close to 60% had offices in hospitals.*

To get medical care, city residents had to go to emergency rooms at the hospital. Over 30% of families in Neponset relied on the emergency department at nearby Carney Hospital. Carney was three bus stops away. If you had a car, you had only one and the breadwinner took the car to work.

A few miles away from Neponset, the City of Boston was preparing to address the lack of access to healthcare services. Officials asked the city’s hospitals to help develop community-based centers. The goal was that every neighborhood would have an identified health resource and the community would be actively involved in shaping the services offered.*

Jean and other neighborhood residents formed a health committee. With support from the City, they worked with Carney Hospital to open Neponset Health Center in 1971.

The first month Neponset was open, providers treated over 120 patients. A year later, the health center provided over 11,000 visits.

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Daniel Driscoll, former CEO of Harbor Health, speaking to staff.

Community In Action

The health center quickly outgrew its storefront space. Planning for a new building began and in 1977 the Neponset Health Center moved to its current location.  Daniel Driscoll became the administrator of the health center that year.

At the anniversary gathering, he talked about how the staff have driven the health center’s response to the changing needs of the community. He pointed to the work providers did to learn to treat patients with HIV and address mental health and substance use disorder.

As he told the Dorchester Reporter, “One of the things we used to say at Neponset is that the difference between a private doctor’s office and a neighborhood health center or community health center was that, for the health center, the community was the patient, not just the people in the waiting room.”

“We developed substance abuse programs because that’s what was going on, and it wasn’t in the waiting room. And, in fact, there were people coming in for medical appointments and your ability to treat them was so compromised by the fact that they had all this other stuff going on.”

chuck-jones-talking

Chuck Jones, President & CEO of Harbor Health, thanked staff for continuing the health center’s legacy.

The Continuing Story

And it’s this ability and willingness to see the whole patient that allows the health center’s story to continue.

“The anniversary is an important milestone but those 50 years were racked up one phone call, one check-in, one diagnosis, one conversation and one smile at time,” Chuck Jones, President and CEO of Harbor Health, shared with staff.

“Each of those moments impacted someone’s life, and each deserves a thank you.”

When you walk into the health center at 398 Neponset Avenue today, you may not be able to see or hear all the work that goes into to making sure our patients and clients are welcome, supported, and cared for…but you can feel it.

We thank our amazing, dedicated, and compassionate staff for making Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center a part of your history!

Please enjoy a short video featuring photos, newspaper articles, and more from the past five decades at the health center.

 

Learn More About Our History

Dorchester Reporter, “All Are Welcome Here.”

Community Health Centers: A Movement and The People Who Made it Happen, Chapter 3

Harbor Health Services History, Community Health Center Story, Chronicles

*This information was included Chapter 3 of Community Health Centers: A Movement and The People Who Made It Happen, By Bonnie Lefkowitz.

leaders-photo

Daniel Driscoll, Jean Hunt, board chair Mary Lou O’Connor, and Chuck Jones at the special 50th anniversary celebration.

SERVICE UPDATE: Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center

We will be doing work to the heating and air conditioning system at Daniel Driscoll – Neponset Health Center this week. To make sure we can complete the work as quickly as possible, the health center will be closed for in-person services on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6.

Service Update for November 5 and 6, 2021

Medical Services

Our providers will have phone and video appointments available. Please call the health center if you need to schedule an appointment.

Pharmacy Services

Our pharmacy will be open for curbside pick up through our front door entrance on Neponset Ave.  Please call the pharmacy at (617) 533-2290 for pick up.

Lab Services

Our lab will be closed on November 5 and 6. If you need labs completed during this time, your provider will provide you with nearby options.

COVID Vaccine and Testing Clinics

Our COVID vaccine and testing clinic shave been cancelled for Friday, November 5.

Flu Shot Clinic

Our flu shot clinic on Saturday, November 6 has also been cancelled.

Our call center will be open during this time to help you with appointments or urgent care questions.

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience!

Make a Difference – JOIN OUR BOARD!

Harbor Health invites interested patients to join our Board of Directors

Harbor Health is seeking new volunteer board members!

Our board members are an amazing group of people. More than half are patients at Harbor’s community health centers. All are active in their communities and share a common interest in supporting our mission.

Are you:

✓ A patient at a Harbor Community Health Center
✓ Ready to share ideas for improving our health centers
✓ Excited about building community
✓ Open to serving as an ambassador for Harbor Health
✓ Able to come to 75% of our monthly meetings each year

If you answered yes to these questions, we hope you will consider joining!

Express Your Interest

Please click the button below to complete an online interest form.

Board Interest Form

Questions?

Contact Regina Kinney at (617) 533-2352 or rkinney@hhsi.us.

Do you know someone who might be interested in joining our board?

We welcome referrals! You can download and print or share the link to our board flyer.

Board Flyer

 

 

 

ATTENTION PATIENTS: Update on Telehealth Co-Pays

Please read important information about co-pays for telehealth visits

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Harbor Health offers in-person and video/phone visits with our providers. We call video and phone visits “virtual visits.”

Many patients have come to see virtual visits as part of routine care. And our providers are happy to support your health!

What You Need To Know

You may have a copay or deductible for a virtual visit.  Many states and health insurance companies waived these costs during the pandemic. These waivers ended in July 2021.

What You Need To Do

Please check with your insurance company on your cost for a virtual visit. You may be responsible for all or part of the cost.

The cost is often the same as an in-person visit.

Please Remember!

We can only provide a virtual visit if you are in Massachusetts. Please reschedule if you will be in another state.

Can We Help?

Help with health insurance and cost. Harbor Health can help you apply for health insurance. We also offer discounts based on family size and income. Please call your health center for help.

Help with a medical bill you are unable to pay. Please call our billing department at (617) 533-2370. We will help you set up a payment plan that fits your budget.

Thank you for letting Harbor Health be a part of your care!

New Dental Assistant Training Program Launches at Ellen Jones Community Dental Center

Thanks To Support from Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, New Program Offers Opportunity to Community

Harbor Health has launched a new Dental Assistant Trainee* program at Ellen Jones Community Dental Center in Dennis. With support from Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, the new DAT program welcomed the first two trainees Hayanne Silva and Yasmin Roar to the dental center in March. They will complete their training by the end of the summer.

Dental assistants are essential to caring for our patients at all of Harbor Health’s dental practices. Dental assistants help with a variety of health care tasks, from taking dental x-rays to recording treatment information to supporting dentists with managing dental emergencies.

Due to the nationwide shortage of qualified dental assistants, dental assisting is an in-demand profession.

One of our biggest challenges in our dental program is finding qualified dental assistants to work in Hyannis and Dennis.

Many of the things we do in a dental office require four hands, so not having the extra two skilled hands means we may not be able to help as many patients in need of care.

Responding to the Challenge, Helping the Community

Harbor’s dental care team decided to build on the 20 years of experience they had teaching dental assisting students at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School at Ellen Jones Community Dental Center and developed a new on-the-job training program open to the community.

Dental Assistant Trainees learn and practice chairside dental assisting, CPR, how to safely take radiographs, infection control, patient management, and dental safety protocols.

Thanks to Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation, Harbor was able to launch the DAT program during the pandemic and offer additional assistance to trainees with paying for required exams and additional training classes. The support from Cape Cod Healthcare Foundation has been essential to the goals of DAT program to add essential dental staff and bring new opportunities to residents in need of year-round jobs on Cape Cod.

“Good oral health is essential to our overall health and wellness. We are proud to support the Ellen Jones Community Dental Centers’ Dental Assistant Training program that will not only increase access to dental services in our community, but also develop our region’s health care workforce and provide stable, year-round jobs on Cape Cod,” said Michael K. Lauf, president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare.

According to Dr. Matthew Horan, Executive Director of Dental Services at Harbor, “We wanted remove barriers for interested people from the community who might be interested in starting a healthcare career as a dental assistant but may lack mentorship or the funds to pursue their interest.”

“We are addressing a chronic workforce shortage challenge head-on, by responding in truly mission-driven way that promotes opportunity for employment within our community and aids in serving our patients unmet needs.”

The Dental Assistant Trainee Experience

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Dental assistant trainees Hayanne and Yasmin at work at Ellen Jones Community Dental Center.

 The DAT program’s first trainees Chayanne Silva and Yasmin Roar are currently working at Ellen Jones Community Dental Center alongside the dental care team. Once their training is complete, they will move ahead with the process of getting their license.

“When I decided to apply for the program, I had no idea what to expect, because I never had any experience with dental before, but I can say that I’m very thankful that I was accepted as this program went beyond all my expectations,” said Hayanne.

“I’m confident that the knowledge and abilities from this program qualifies me to be the successful dental assistant I want to be.”

Yasmin explained she had moved from another country looking for stability for herself and family. She credits the DAT program with giving her a positive outlook.

“I can see a brilliant future for me, and I am sure all the techniques and lessons will be applied daily. I appreciate all the knowledge the team has been teaching me.”

Harbor has opened the program to new applicants. Please visit Join Our Team to look for the Dental Assistant Trainee position postings and apply.

*Note: The Dental Assistant Trainee program at Harbor Health is not a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) recognized program. Dental Assistants produced by the program are not “formally trained”, but our goal is that they will meet all requirements for licensure from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry via the on-the-job training pathway.

New Pharmacy Curbside Pick Up Hours in Hyannis!

Curbside service only available this summer when the health center is closed

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The pharmacy at Harbor Community Health Center – Hyannis has new curbside pick up hours this summer!

Beginning July 6, please come inside the health center to visit the pharmacy when the health center is open.

Health Center Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 AM -8:30 PM
Saturday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

When the health center is closed, our pharmacy will offer curbside pick up.

Pharmacy Curbside Pick Up Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Sunday, 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Please call the pharmacy at (508) 778-5424 for curbside pick-up during these times.

PLEASE NOTE: Curbside pick up will only be available when the health center is closed!

You can download an informational flyer with our curbside hours and phone number by clicking the buttons below.

Curbside Hours     Horarios    Horário

We thank you for your patience as we make this change!

Harbor Health Launches the THRIVE Clinic

Free, confidential, and inclusive HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services

Harbor Health will open the THRIVE clinic this June with three upcoming clinics, open to the community.

The THRIVE clinic will offer HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services. Services are free of charge and confidential. 

Service include:

  • HIV rapid testing and counseling – finger stick or oral swab, results in 20 minutes or less
  • PrEP education and connection to care
  • Sexual health education
  • Family planning education
  • Safer sex and feminine hygiene supplies

The June THRIVE clinics will take place at Harbor Health’s Dorchester community health centers and at the Plymouth Pride Festival  in Plymouth.

Upcoming THRIVE Clinics

Reservations for testing and counseling appointments are recommended at our health center clinics. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Clinics will take place every month at our health centers and pop-up locations at community events.

We also work with community organizations to provide services to their clients. If you would like to learn more about having a THRIVE clinic come to your organization, please call (617) 533-2228.

How Can We Help You?

To stay healthy, you need to take care of all of you! And the THRIVE clinic is there to help.

THRIVE stands for:

T – Trusted services

H– HIV testing and prevention

R– Reproductive and sexual health

I– Inclusive

V– Vital

E– Educational

The THRIVE clinic’s mission is to help everyone feel welcome, comfortable, safe, and supported in asking for HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health information, services, and supplies. 

Our kind and caring prevention services team works at the THRIVE clinic.  They are trained in HIV testing, counseling, and answering all kinds of questions about sexual and reproductive health.

The team can:

  • Help you with what to say and questions to ask your medical provider about PrEP.
  • Give you information about different birth control methods.
  • Assist you in understanding your risk for HIV and how often you should get tested.
  • Connect you to care and resources to help you pay for PrEP.
  • Answer questions about STIs and connect you to testing and treatment.

We hope to see you at an upcoming clinic! Click the button below to learn more about the THRIVE clinic.

More About the THRIVE Clinic