Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.
Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts awards pilot grant to Ascentria Care Alliance
Ascentria Care Alliance has received a grant from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts to pilot the Partnership for Refugee Wellness project. The pilot is focused on enhancing the health and well-being of refugees by promoting their self-sufficiency, integration and engagement in the community.
Key partner organizations joining with Ascentria in the design and now the piloting of this project include steering committee members representing: Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center; Family Health Center of Worcester; Catholic Charities; Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center (RIAC); Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA); city of Worcester and Worcester Public Schools. Several other organizations, including Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), are serving in an advisory role.
Worcester first in state to achieve national public health accreditation
City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. announced the Worcester Division of Public Health/Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance has become the first nationally accredited public health division in the state.
“The city was informed of the prestigious accreditation last week by the national Public Health Accreditation Board. The five-year accreditation signifies the department meets or exceeds a rigorous set of national standards and measures that address the accreditation board’s 10 Essential Services of Public Health.”
There are 117 accredited health departments of about 5,000 nationwide. [Editor’s note: The board has been conducting accreditations since 2011, approves about 20 per year and charges a city the size of Worcester about $30,000.]
Innovations, community partnerships build buzz in Worcester
The buzz is building in Worcester. This was the message Katie Stebbins, assistant secretary of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship for the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, delivered at Quinsigamond Community College’s corporate breakfast March 11.
Comparing the city’s components to a crew team, she said, “Worcester is really starting to row together in a significant way, through innovation, collaboration and leadership. These things aren’t happening in isolation, they are happening here together. This is why the buzz in Worcester is starting to grow so rapidly.
“Worcester is generating buzz, and you are really lucky to have a community college in your midst that gets it. This is a really special thing to have here,” she said.
A rich legacy of free concerts at Mechanics Hall
A crowd of close to 1,000 enjoyed the U.S. Navy Band concert recently, in a free performance that kicked off the Spring 2016 Brown Bag Concert Series at Mechanics Hall.
The U.S. Navy Band includes some of the country’s finest musicians, a fact not lost on the lunchtime patrons, whose standing ovations acknowledged the inspired musical experience they were sharing. “We are so proud to host the United States military bands, who tour the country as ambassadors of America’s heart — the men and women who are willing to give all for the freedom and democracy we love so dearly,” Mechanics Hall said in its online newsletter, adding that the concerts are poignant and tremendously entertaining.
Since 1984, Mechanics Hall has been hosting free Brown Bag Concerts, which air live on WICN public radio.
Lt. Gov. Polito to deliver WSU commencement address May 14
Worcester State University will hold its undergraduate commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14, at the DCU Center. Graduates and their families will hear from Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn E. Polito, who will deliver the commencement keynote address and receive an honorary degree. University officials will also confer degrees upon graduating seniors and present teaching awards. The community service award will also be presented to former Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte.
Polito was inaugurated Jan. 8, 2015, as the 72nd lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. She earned a B.S. in management from Boston College in 1988, and a J.D. from the New England School of Law in 1991. She is an attorney and president of her family-owned real estate development company who has committed many years to public service.