LAWRENCE — Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) visited state and community leaders Thursday morning at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center to announce federal funding of $2 million.
The money, Trahan explained, will be used to expand primary health care services available to patients at the 700 Essex St. facility.
The group toured the facility and learned about the upcoming upgrades made possible by the federal investment.
“Before the pandemic, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center provided essential care that kept our community healthy and safe – but during the pandemic, it has become a real lifeline,” Trahan said in a statement.
“It’s hard to overstate how essential the organization has been to the families of Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill. That’s why I’m so proud to have secured $2 million in federal funds for the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which will support expanded health services and strengthened care at its Essex Street facility. I will always be a strong supporter of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and health centers like this that provide essential care to our most vulnerable neighbors.
The health network operates seven sites in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill. Leaders say there is a need to expand services in Lawrence.
The Essex Street facility serves over 8,000 patients, offering primary care services, opioid treatment, education and prevention services, behavioral health services, family pharmacy services and more.
Trahan said she secured the $2 million during negotiations on the recently approved government funding package to create 4,000 square feet of new clinical space at her Essex Street facility, carry out necessary renovations to the space current and update medical equipment.
In addition to patient benefits, the renovations and upgrades would create 20 jobs in the first year after construction is completed, Trahan said.
Trahan was joined by Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña, State Representatives Frank Moran (D-Lawrence), Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence), Christina Minicucci (D-North Andover), City Council members from Lawrence, as well as leaders and medical personnel.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Trahan for her great commitment and leadership. If I can describe Lori in two words it would be: support and resources as she continues to lead and fight for our communities from Washington,” DePeña said. “Our population is growing rapidly and so are our needs. Bringing resources to our community to expand our healthcare services is not only smart, but essential. Let’s keep moving our city forward.
Those words were echoed by other lawmakers, all of whom emphasized the life-saving care already provided and the importance of growth.
The facilities have been described as essential in the fight against COVID-19, first for virus testing and treatment of COVID-positive patients, and now for vaccination efforts. The health center has received nearly $11 million in COVID-19 relief funding, including $8.5 million awarded as part of the U.S. bailout.
The health center was also an early participant in President Joe Biden’s Community Health Center vaccination program and has administered more than 30,000 vaccines since December 2020.