Press Release

Health Connector Announces Community Partners for 2015–16 through the Navigator Grant Program

BOSTON – Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 – The Massachusetts Health Connector today announced the 14 community groups that will work as a Navigator to provide enrollment and renewal support to residents throughout the Commonwealth during Open Enrollment.

As the Health Connector prepares for 2016 Open Enrollment, which starts on Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016, it will work with Navigators to ensure outreach is penetrating communities with higher rates of uninsured residents and those without insurance are encouraged to apply for coverage. Navigators can also assist current members who have questions about coverage renewing Jan. 1, 2016.

“Massachusetts is committed to making health care accessible and affordable to everyone, and we are going to use this upcoming Open Enrollment period to encourage those without health insurance to sign up,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “Our Navigator partners will play a very significant role on the ground in their communities, directly talking to the uninsured and working with them to complete their applications and enrollments.”

Navigators are mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and are part of a network of assisters that include more than 1,300 Certified Assistance Councilors, which are predominantly at health-care provider locations. A full list of assisters can be found at the Health Connector’s website. Additionally, the Health Connector will be focusing public education messaging and outreach on communities identified as areas with higher uninsured rates in an effort to reach as many uninsured people as possible during Open Enrollment.

This is the third year of the Navigator program, which strives to work with organizations with regional and ethnic diversity in order to reach as many people as possible. This year, Navigators were encouraged to included details on outreach events and other activities as part of their applications, along with the traditional enrollment activities. The Health Connector awarded the following grants for the 2015-16 program, which runs from Aug. 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016.

Boston Public Health Commission, $138,518
The Boston Public Health Commission returns for a third year as a Navigator, and will deliver a comprehensive and innovative outreach strategy that includes providing mobile Navigators throughout the city of Boston with more focus on high needs areas like East Boston and Dorchester. BPHC will also emphasize assistance to vulnerable populations, including those who recently lost their jobs, immigrants, and low-income residents. Some unique approaches to outreach include posting Ads on Boston Metro Cabs, and a flyering program within different census tracks in the Boston Area.
Language capacity: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, French, Cape Verdean Creole.

Cambridge Economic Opportunity Council, $88,550
The Cambridge Economic Opportunity Council is returning for its second year as a Navigator and will specially target people through its Certified Volunteer Income Tax preparation program, and is creating a one-stop program that will allow individuals to sign up for health insurance, SNAP and other public benefits in one meeting. This year, they are expanding their outreach into surrounding communities with high need including Medford, Everett and Revere. Their outreach will be focused in on non-traditional sites such as barbershops, restaurants, salons.
Language capacity: Farsi, Haitian Creole, Spanish.

Caring Health Center (Springfield), $187,320
Caring Health Center is returning for a third year as a Navigator, and will target graduating students from the Springfield area and continue its outreach efforts to those in the Greater Springfield area who are transitioning to ACA coverage this fall. They have a uniquely focused outreach plan that consists of tabling throughout the community with laptops and portable printers to enable applications to be done on the spot.
Language capacity includes Spanish. 

Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands, $96,959
The Community Action Committee of Cape Cod & Islands takes a comprehensive approach to using community partnerships as part of its outreach, including working with Career Opportunity Centers and the Job Training and Employment Corp. to promote assistance in accessing health care coverage. CACCI, returning for a third year as a Navigator, again plans on staffing an information kiosk at the Cape Cod Mall during Open Enrollment to provide information and schedule appointments.
Language capacity: Portuguese, Spanish. 

Ecu-Health Care (North Adams), $45,000
Ecu-Health Care, a returning Navigator for a third year, serves eight towns in North Berkshire County. Ecu-Health combines a multi-pronged approach of advertising, print and social media, and face-to-face community presentations with its knowledge of transitioning populations and community partnerships to expand health care access in North Berkshire County. Ecu- Health plans to maximize outreach with a continuing partnership with Berkshire Medical Center and a plan to serve a mail and phone campaign to outreach clients.

Family Health Center of Worcester, $170,444
Family Health Care of Worcester provides access to medical, dental, behavioral and social services through 15 locations in Worcester and South Worcester County, and is working as a Navigator for the second year. Family Health will provide support to underserved and uninsured residents through its multilingual and multicultural staff, and will promote self-sufficiency with the availability of self-service computer kiosks. FHCW will continue and expand its robo-call outreach to accommodate five different languages, along with mailings, flyers and other local and ethnic media.
Language capacity: Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese. 

Fishing Partnership, $110,000
The Fishing Partnership is a returning Navigator for a second year, with locations in Gloucester, Scituate, New Bedford and Chatham. The Fishing Partnership uses an in-depth member database and years of experience working with its target populations in coastal Massachusetts communities. Fishing Partnership hosts a mix of activities based upon knowledge of fishing community, and passes out brochures and flyers right down on the docks.
Language capacity: Spanish, Portuguese. 

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, $144,189
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, which is returning as a Navigator for a third year, is focused on helping residents achieve self-sufficiency. As a Navigator, the Community Action Council will use its knowledge of transitioning populations and existing partnerships with neighborhood associations to contact residents, and will use ethnic media – including newspapers and radio – to promote the Affordable Care Act. GLCAC will send 2 outreach staff into the community and expand their social media into both English and Spanish languages.
Language capacity: Spanish.

Health Care For All, $249,953
A new Navigator, but a long-standing Health Connector partner, Health Care For All has strong knowledge of the ACA and the health insurance landscape in Massachusetts. HCFA has the ability to mobilize community partners around the Commonwealth for outreach and enrollment activities. They will cover the following high-need communities: Everett, Lynn, Chelsea, Revere, Lowell, Framingham, Fall River and Brockton. HCFA’s all-around approach to outreach will bring 10 pre-Open Enrollment events to these high-need areas.
Language capacity: Spanish, Portuguese.

Hilltown Community Health Centers (Huntington), $35,543
A returning Navigator for a third year, Hilltown Community Health Centers serve the rural sections of Hampshire and Hampden counties through four sites, and is the only provider of comprehensive medical, dental and other services in the region. With the use of their own electronic records at the Health Center, Hilltown can identify members who need to take action. Hilltown will take advantage of local opportunities such as agricultural fairs, employment events and health expos to provide outreach and enrollment services

Manet Community Health Center (Quincy), $87,650
Manet Community Health Center serves the South Shore through six locations, including a site in Taunton, and has been a Navigator for three years. Outreach and enrollment activities will focus on target populations including the area’s Chinese, Vietnamese, Brazilian, Muslim and Indian communities, with outreach and enrollment events held in conjunction with local colleges and universities, career centers and food pantries. Manet proposes to do street and MBTA canvasing as well as increasing their social media presence.
Language capacity: French, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, German, Mandarin, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Cantonese. 

People Acting in Community Endeavors (New Bedford), $92,887
People Acting in Community Endeavors returns as a Navigator for a third year, and provides a variety of health, education, housing and social services to vulnerable populations in the South Coast. PACE uses local media outlets – including Community Access TV, and radio and print media in Spanish and Portuguese – to promote activities and events, and has multilingual staff to assist clients. Small focus groups are being explored to help better target outreach.
Language capacity: Portuguese.

Tapestry Health (Northampton), $96,796
Tapestry Health is a new Navigator that has 14 easily-accessible locations in Western Massachusetts, with a special focus on the Springfield area. Tapestry plans to devote of time to outreach activities like cultural and health fairs, street outreach, door-to-door campaigning, and other day and night events. Tapestry will team with Certified Application Counselors to ensure that people are the taking action that they need to for the coverage that is right for them with strategic intake and screening processes.
Language capacity: Spanish. 

Vineyard Health Access/County of Dukes County, $43,892
Vineyard Health Access is the primary contact for health care coverage information and assistance for small businesses and self-employed consumers on the Islands, and includes a multilingual and multicultural staff that works with medically underserved Native Americans and other residents. Vineyard Health Access is in its second year as a Navigator. VHCAP’s plans for outreach include PSAs on local stations and making a Facebook page in Portuguese.
Language capacity: Portuguese, Spanish.

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Thursday, August 13th, 2015|