In the late 70s, a group of caring Springfield residents recognized the need for a community health center to meet the increasing health needs and social vulnerabilities of city residents. People were living with untreated chronic conditions, increased infant mortality rates, pediatric care and intervention were not a feasible priority, important screenings and treatments were not readily accessible and drug addiction was viewed as a scourge, not an illness that can be treated.
This passionate, community group organized a coalition called; Springfield South End Community Health Center Development Corporation (SSECHCD). They petitioned the Federal Government for accessible and affordable primary health care in Springfield’s South End neighborhood, but the path ahead was not always obvious or easy. Their federal application for funding to support a Section 330 Community Health Center was approved in 1980, but the funds for this initiative were whisked away by budget cuts and priority shifts.
Years later, the Commissioner of Springfield Department of Health and Human Services received the original effort and established a forty-member city-wide task force to resubmit the application for a Section 330 Community Health Center. In 1993, through the passion, perseverance and hard work of this collective of: service providers, community members and state agencies it paid off. The United States Public Health Service approved the city’s request for funds. Upon receiving this award, the Springfield Southwest Community Health Center, now known as Caring Health Center, was born.
Since opening its doors in 1995, Caring Health Center has grown rapidly and is one of the premier community health care provider in the greater Springfield area. CHC provides quality and comprehensive health services to a large number of people with diverse backgrounds from Springfield and 22 surrounding towns. As the community continues to welcome refugees and immigrants, our commitment to providing appropriate and accessible care is demonstrated by the use of multilingual translation services, and sensitivity to the unique cultural needs of the people we serve.
The President and CEO Tania Barber, believes that all people, regardless of their ethnicity, ability to pay or background deserve quality healthcare and her commitment continues to inspire those who work for her. Caring Health Center continues to thrive in service of its mission: to provide health care for the ill, to comfort the sick, and to bring the highest level of health care to all.
We are committed to eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity through providing accessible, value-driven healthcare for diverse, multi-ethnic communities in Western Massachusetts.