Boston, MA - Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and State Attorney General Martha Coakley praised the ongoing work of health centers in grappling with critical public health issues and in promoting patient-centered care at a series of League membership meetings held last week at the law offices of Nutter, McClennen and Fish.
Describing community health centers as institutions that work at the intersection of violence, addiction, economic hardship and health, Mayor Walsh lauded the comprehensive approach health centers take in improving the health and well-being of some 353,000 Bostonians - or more than half of all city residents.
Emphasizing their role as trusted, local institutions, Walsh talked about his plans to leverage the experience, expertise and locations of health centers in tackling poverty, addiction and violence. "Community health centers are doing things we talk about on a daily basis in city government," said Walsh. "We need to use your collective infrastructure to get into the neighborhoods and solve challenges together."
Attorney General Coakley spoke about the increasing significance of transparency and accountability in our emerging health system, as well as on the importance of ensuring that patients - no matter their income or where they reside - have access to mental health services. The Attorney General also underscored the need for improved mental health parity to ensure reasonable reimbursement for providers and to help diffuse the social stigma associated with seeking mental health care.
"We are extremely appreciative of the Mayor and Attorney General taking time to meet with our membership on these pressing issues," said James. W. Hunt, Jr., president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "We look forward to strengthening our partnerships with these visionary leaders in the work to address some of the biggest health challenges of our times."