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Congressman Richard E. Neal Announces $99,871 Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Fairview Hospital

July 6, 2017
Press Release

GREAT BARRINGTON –  Congressman Richard E. Neal joined Doreen Hutchinson, Vice President of Operations, and Fairview Hospital staff this morning to announce a $99,871 Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Health Network Development Planning Grant Program.

“Rural communities face particular challenges in organizing and delivering high quality care,” saidCongressman Neal. “One of the little-known benefits of the Affordable Care Act has been new funding and initiatives to improve care coordination and better align incentives to promote high quality health care. While in Massachusetts strides have been made to work with providers like hospitals and physicians to deliver better care to our rural areas, there is still a clear need to bridge the divide between access and care. This grant provides critical funds to Fairview Hospital to develop efficient, forward thinking health delivery strategies in a collaborative manner. Not only that, but also an opportunity to measure strategy outcomes and so there is a base on which to build future programs.

“The very law that Republicans in Congress now seek to repeal is what has enabled this critical opportunity for our local hospital,” continued Congressman Neal. “But now Congress is considering legislation that will directly harm rural areas by raising the number of residents without insurance coverage and shifting more health care costs on to working families. Republicans are also creating more angst and uncertainty to our nation's health care delivery system, including in rural America. Should the Republican health proposal become law, it would devastate rural communities and the hospitals that serve them.”

Doreen Hutchinson, BSN, MBA, CNAA-BC, Vice President of Operations at Fairview Hospital said, “Rural residents face many barriers in accessing health care services. Fairview is proud to receive the SBC HPN grant to assist local healthcare providers and social support services develop a stronger network targeting delivery of care to those who are often underserved.  Our goal is an assessment-based, interdisciplinary collaboration of organizations expanding upon the partnerships which already play an important role in providing needed rural healthcare services with limited resources.  The SBC HPN grant will effectively improve quality, cost-effectiveness, and ultimately the health status of individuals as well as the community as a whole.”

The purpose of the Network Planning program is to assist in the development of an integrated healthcare network, specifically in communities where such programs have never previously existed. The Network Planning program promotes the planning and development of healthcare networks in order to: achieve efficiencies; expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services; and strengthen the rural health care system as a whole.