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30k in grants support increased transportation access, fight stigma, and aid fire department

July 14, 2022

Baystate Wing Hospital has announced an investment of $30,000 in grants to benefit local community-based nonprofit organizations.

The grant awards were given to:

  • The Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation
  • The Quaboag Connector to support local transportation in the region
  • The Ware Fire Department to support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and paramedic training
  • The Ware Regional Recovery Center to increased access to support and expand knowledge about recovery support services and resources in the region

“Everyone is strengthened when we work together to build and sustain a culture of health and wellness within our communities,” said Molly Gray, President and Chief Administrative Officer for Baystate Health’s Eastern Region which includes Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. “We are very happy to support the work with our community partners with these grant investments.”

Baystate Health’s Eastern Region represent fifteen communities comprising a population of approximately 120,000 people.

Programs supported by the hospital’s grant investments

Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation, The Quaboag Connector

The $30,000 grant to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation (QVCDC) will provide continued support to the Quaboag Connector Transportation Initiative.

It addresses the lack of transportation to employment, education, healthcare, workforce training, shopping, and benefit services within and outside the region. The service which began in January 2017 has provided thousands of rides to community members.

In March 2022, the Quaboag Connector surpassed all previous months in number of rides providing 1,397 rides demonstrating the continued need for this service.

The grant funded by the Baystate Wing Hospital Corporation to the Quaboag Connector is eligible for Massachusetts Community Investment Tax Credits that will offset the grant award by $15,000.

"We are most grateful to Baystate Wing Hospital Corporation for their on-going support of this essential transportation service for people living and working in the Quaboag Region,” said Sheila Cuddy, Executive Director of the QVCDC.

The Ware Fire Department

The $11,500 grant was awarded to the Ware Fire Department in support of EMS Paramedic training for a member of the Ware Fire/EMS Team.

“With the continued help and support of the hospital grant awards we are able to send a fourth Ware Fire Department EMT for advanced training to become a Paramedic,” Chris Gagnon, Fire Chief/Paramedic and Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Ware.

Growing Strong: Ware Regional Recovery Center’s Next Chapter

The $3500 grant to the Ware Regional Recovery Center, a program of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, will support their work in the Quaboag Hills Region to:

  • Respond with increased momentum in raising community awareness about local access to recovery support and resources
  • Decrease stigma
  • Encourage people to seek out recovery support services in a time of critical need

“With a new space opening soon on Main Street, the Ware Regional Recovery Center is poised to create conditions for recovery in community,” said Kristel Applebee, Executive Director of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium. “Utilizing a peer driven approach, this vision will become a reality thanks to the partnership with Baystate Wing.”

“As part of our continued commitment to reduce health disparities in our region we are proud to partner with the QVCDC and the Quaboag Connector, the Ware Fire/EMS team and the Ware Regional Recovery Center to help meet the unique needs in our region and work collaboratively with our community partners to create local solutions,” said Gray.