Award is first round of workforce training grants from landmark Health Care Cost Containment Act

April 2014

Governor Deval Patrick awarded nearly $2 million in grants to help train health care providers to improve patient service and reduce costs. The funding will go to 51 organizations across the state to begin assessing how to prepare health care workers for the careers of the 21st century economy.  Chapter 224 health care cost containment legislation allocated $20 million to prepare the health care industry for the new demands and innovations called for in the legislation. The Governor made the announcement at Lynn Community Health Center.

“In Massachusetts we believe that health is a public good and every resident deserves access to quality, affordable care,” said Governor Patrick. “These grants will help providers prepare workers for the jobs of the 21st century economy, in turn improving the quality of care and lowering costs.” 

The award recipients may partner with hospitals, community centers and educational institutions to create new service delivery models and determine what workforce skills and training are necessary for today’s workers.

“The health care industry is changing rapidly,” said Labor and Workforce Secretary Rachel Kaprielian. “These grants will enable many health care providers and their partners across the Commonwealth to keep pace with these changes. This first round of grants will help these businesses assess their workforce and determine what skills and training they will need to change operations and deliver more efficient health care.”

The Health Care Workforce Transformation Grants will enable health care businesses to assess the skills of their workforce, as well as the relevance, quantity and quality of existing training or education programs.  They will also allow businesses to develop a plan to deliver new training and education programs to their current workers and, in partnership with the state’s educational institutions, determine the need for improving or creating programs that will attract future workers.

This first round of funding reflects the Patrick Administration’s ongoing effort to encourage economic growth by supporting innovation in the Commonwealth’s health care industry. By providing resources to develop new and innovative training and education programs, Massachusetts will continue to solidify its place as a leader in health care modernization and improvement. 

Service Employees Internal Union 1199, which administers a training and upgrading fund, will receive a $37,400 grant to partner with Lynn Community Health Center, Union Hospital and North Shore Medical Center. The grant allows these providers to develop a training program for frontline workers to gain skills in safely and effectively managing interactions with patients who may have behavioral issues.

"These grants are a key step towards ensuring the incumbent healthcare workforce is prepared to deliver the highest level of care within the changing healthcare environment,” said Veronica Turner, Executive VP of 1199SEIU. “The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU applaud all of the key stakeholders for recognizing the need to invest in workforce training and education as part of our mutual efforts to continuously improve healthcare quality while reducing medical costs. Building innovative and dynamic training partnerships with employers to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care is a hallmark of the 1199SEIU legacy. Through programs like these, 1199SEIU caregivers have been and will continue to be pioneers in the pursuit of healthcare workforce training and innovation."

Earlier this week, Governor Patrick launched the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF). Also part of Chapter 224 health care cost containment legislation, this first-in-the-nation effort provides more than $40 million in grants to nine community-based partnerships over four years to help fight chronic illness and improve health outcomes while reducing health care costs.  The Fund supports community-based partnerships in achieving measurable health goals through research-based interventions. The goals of the Fund are to reduce rates of the most prevalent and preventable health conditions, advance healthy behaviors, increase the adoption of workplace wellness or health management programs and address health disparities. Municipalities, healthcare systems, community organizations, businesses, regional planning organizations and schools are working together to launch community-specific programs to address issues including hypertension, smoking, falls prevention among older adults and pediatric asthma. 

“Workforce training investments are so important to help assess and build on the skills of our health care workers,” said Senator Tom McGee. “These grants will help hospitals and community health centers stay ahead of the curve in an industry that is constantly changing.”

“I appreciate Governor Patrick’s commitment to assuring that healthcare facilities like the Lynn Community Health Center have the tools to create a new model for healthcare that emphasizes prevention and lifelong health,” said 8th Essex District State Representative Lori Ehrlich, whose district includes Lynn. “A key first step is making sure our healthcare workforce is properly trained to deliver cost-effective care. These grants will be highly beneficial to healthcare workers, patients, and the Commonwealth as a whole.”

Health Care Workforce Transformation Grants announced on Thursday are administered by the Commonwealth Corporation under the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.  Following funding rounds will support the implementation of training and meeting workforce challenges. Health care providers must send in a letter of intent by June 27, 2014 to apply for up to $250,000 in grants. Applications will be due by July 31, 2014.

The following received grants during this round of funding:

Berkshire County:

·         Berkshire Medical Center – $49,801.71

·         Community Health Programs, Inc. – $37,488

Cape and Islands:

·         Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board – $25,172.27

Central Massachusetts: 

·         Central Massachusetts AHEC – $50,000

·         Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board – $20,051.23

·         Community Healthlink, Inc. – $36,024

·         Quinsigamond Community College – $27,689

·         UMass Memorial Medical Center – $50,000

Franklin/Hampshire Counties:

·         Clinical and Support Options – $49,118

·         Cooley Dickinson Health Care Corporation – $49,865.82

·         Greenfield Community College – $27,980.54

·         VNA and Hospice of Cooley Dickinson – $50,000

·         Western MA Public Health Training Center, Amherst – $49,586

Greater Boston:

·         Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Boston – $49,995

·         Boston University Center for Aging & Disability Education & Research – $50,000

·         Dorchester House Multi-Service Center (Federally Qualified Health Center) – $27,662

·         Hallmark Health – $47,836.62

·         Home Care Aide Council – $44,569

·         Jewish Vocational Service – $41,933

·         Justice Resource Institute – $28,093.76

·         Massachusetts Hospital Association – $54,388.13

·         Mass. Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors – $48,326.94

·         Metro North Regional Employment Board – $32,500

·         Metro South/West Employment & Training Administration – $35,500

·         Organization of Nurse Leaders, Assoc. for Nursing Leadership,Science, and Education, Inc. – $49,500

·         Partners Healthcare System – $34,193.50

·         Partners Home Care Inc. d/b/a Partners HealthCare at Home – 27,365.80

·         Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc. – $32,883

·         Riverside Community Care – $49,988.49

·         Roxbury Community College – $35,275.98

·         Spaulding Rehab Hospital Corporation – $11,660

·         VNA Care Network Foundation – $16,560

·         YMCA Training, Inc. – $19,502

·         1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund – $37,400

Hampden County:

·         Baystate Medical Center – $47,137.50

·         Gandara Center, Inc. – $49,564

·         Holyoke Community College – $24,254.78

·         Regional Employment Board of Hampden County – $25,204.11

Northeastern Massachusetts:

·         Anna Jacques Hospital – $48,922.58

·         Lahey Clinic – $49,999

·         Lowell Community Health Center – $26,863

·         Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board – $23,056

·         North Shore Community Action, Inc. – $16,645

·         North Shore Workforce Investment Board – $48,500

Rhode Island*:

·         Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. – $40,224.70

Southeastern Massachusetts:

·         Brockton Hospital, Inc. Signature HealthCare – $49,586

·         Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board – $30,348

·         HealthFirst Family Care Center, Inc. – $21,500

·         Royal Health Group, LLC – $47,108

·         South Shore Hospital – $19,449.01

·         Southcoast Physicians Group, Inc. of Southcoast

Health System – $49,704 

Total: $1,915,974.30

*Locations provide services to Cape and southeast regions of the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts Governor's Corner

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Grant and Matching Funds Build Innovative Center

April 2014

Governor Deval Patrick today joined Joslin President & CEO, John Brooks and the President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Susan Windham-Bannister to cut the ribbon on the new Joslin Diabetes Center’s Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes at its campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. In January 2012, Joslin received a $5 million grant from the MLSC, among the highest amounts ever received to support diabetes research in Massachusetts. The grant was matched with funds raised from Joslin donors, and a total of $10.8 million was used to build the comprehensive center.

“In 2008 we stood at Joslin and launched our Life Sciences Initiative, and today I’m proud we’ve come full circle,” said Governor Patrick. “Joslin’s new center will further advance our global leadership in the life sciences while providing life-saving work and hope for millions of patients around the world.” 

The new research facility was funded through a $5 million grant from the MLSC’s capital program, matched by $5.8 million in funds from Joslin donors. The Center will foster new research approaches, whereby basic, translational and clinical researchers work side-by-side and collaborate with Joslin’s clinical team, enabling the latest innovative technologies and new biomedical discoveries to advance so they can be translated into solutions that help patients and those at risk of diabetes. 

In addition to the Clinical Research Center and basic labs, the Center contains an exercise physiology research unit where clinical research will take place. It also has a gym, where Joslin patients will work with exercise physiologists and receive personalized instruction, in addition to blood glucose and blood pressure checks. The Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes space will live up to its name, by combining bench research, with clinical research studies and the engagement of Joslin patients in life-altering exercise programs designed by the Center’s experts. 

The Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes encompasses unique, yet interrelated, sub-projects that bridge clinical research, clinical care and basic research with translational programs to ensure that Joslin continues to advance its “clinic to research to clinic” solutions. This cross-pollination of clinical and research disciplines is critical because the cure for diabetes is a vexing goal due to the complexity of the disease, as it has different forms and complications that affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves and the cardiovascular system. Joslin expects the Translational Center to foster new research approaches whereby basic, translational and clinical researchers work side-by-side and collaborate with Joslin’s clinical team in an interactive and supportive environment, enabling new ideas to flourish, and where the latest innovative technologies and new biomedical discoveries are advanced so that they can be translated quickly into solutions that help patients and others with or at risk of diabetes. 

“This is an exciting day for Joslin,” said Brooks. “Our life’s work is to find a cure for diabetes; as this pandemic accelerates we need to prevent it and find innovative ways to care for those who are impacted by it. This opening today would not have been possible without the grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and the matching funds from Joslin donors. With this additional tool in our arsenal, we will accelerate our clinical and research efforts, develop translational studies for curing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and will advance our work in diabetes prevention and obesity.”

The project, completed ahead of schedule, renovated nearly 20,000 square feet of space. It created approximately 50 construction jobs and will create approximately 50 new permanent jobs in the life sciences. More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, a number that is increasing by one million per year.  In Massachusetts, more than 400,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and these numbers are continuing to increase at high rates. The cost of diabetes in the Bay State is $4.3 billion annually.

Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences ecosystem. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008 at Joslin Diabetes Center. To date, the MLSC has awarded more than $370 million to support life sciences-related capital projects across the state, creating thousands of jobs and more than 1.3 million square feet of new education, research and manufacturing space.

“The Center is using its capital dollars strategically to invest in the strengths of our state’s different regions and to create resources and capabilities that are uniquely found in Massachusetts and make us a model for the world,” said Windham-Bannister. “Joslin is the world’s leading center for research and for the care of those with diabetes, and our MLSC grant for their new Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes is a great example of our strategy at work.”

Joslin Diabetes Center, located in Boston, is the world's largest diabetes research and clinical care organization. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real hope and progress toward diabetes prevention and a cure. Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School.