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Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation gives $1M to support telehealth

The Community Care Cooperative is raising $5 million to provide telehealth capabilities to local health centers.

Mallory Hackett, Associate Editor

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation this week donated $1 million to support the Massachusetts-based Community Care Cooperative's campaign to increase telehealth capacities for its network of health centers throughout the state.

C3 aims to advance the telehealth services available in Massachusetts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

C3 will put the funds into the Federally Qualified Health Center Telehealth Consortium, made up of 30 community health centers throughout the state, including the 19 health centers that comprise C3. 

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The campaign has raised $3.8 million in grants towards its $5 million goal. 

Earlier donations were made by the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, the Landry Family Foundation, the Klarman Family Foundation, Barbara and Amos Hostetter, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

The campaign intends to increase the telehealth capacity, training and infrastructure at the community health centers that make up the consortium. 

It will focus on providing hardware, including laptops, cameras and headsets; support for the centers' IT departments; remote-monitoring devices, such as scales, blood pressure cuffs and glucose monitors; a "lending library" of patient-side phones and tablets; home phlebotomy; project management; and a long-term telehealth strategy that examines facilitators and barriers to implementation. 

The grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation brings its COVID-19 relief total to almost $7 million since the start of the pandemic.

THE LARGER TREND

C3 announced its campaign in May and is well on the way to reaching its $5 million goal after less than a month of its creation.

Telehealth has been on the rise over the course of the pandemic, because now anyone with internet access can receive healthcare from home. While most of the advancements made in the telehealth world are a result of the temporary regulatory waivers, many hope that they will get adopted permanently after the pandemic ends.

ON THE RECORD

"These funds to Community Health Centers across the region are a strong complement to the nearly $4 million the Foundation has already contributed to local and regional nonprofits, food organizations, and meal delivery partnerships in response to COVID-19," said Karen Voci, the president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. "Keeping these vital community resources strong is essential to public health, especially in underserved urban and rural areas."

Twitter: @HackettMallory
Email the writer: mhackett@himss.org