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Family Health Center to celebrate 35 years - Helping hands to be honored

March 25, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By Ashley Bishop
(c) Telegram & Gazette

WORCESTER - For the past 35 years, the Family Health Center of Worcester has provided health care to city residents from all walks of life.

More than 25,000 people pass through the doors of 26 Queen St. each year, and regardless of financial or cultural background, each individual is given the care they need.

On Friday, the Health Center will celebrate its 35th anniversary during a soiree at Mechanics Hall. The event will honor 35 people in the community - from politicians to medical professionals - who have supported the health center's growth and development.

According to organizers, each of the 35 "helping hands" has helped to shape the health center's success.

Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray and U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, are among the 35 who will be honored.

"When we think about all Family Health has accomplished over the last 35 years, we quickly remember the people who made it all possible," said Frances M. Anthes, president of the Health Center. "We have been blessed with many, many helping hands throughout the years."

In 1974, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, then also new to the city, teamed up with the Family Health Center to create a Family Practice Residency Program. The program has trained 130 physicians since its inception, and has allowed the Family Health Center to expand into the state-of-the-art clinic it is today.

Along with providing health and dental care, social services and an on-site pharmacy for patients, the health center also employs translators in more than five languages to help accomodate Worcester's diverse population. Forty percent of patients at the center require translation services.

"I think everyone should spend time in the Family Health Center waiting room," said Honee A. Hess, vice chairwoman for the Family Health Center Board. "It's a mini-United Nations, and you will see people of differing cultural backgrounds as family members, parents and patients who deserve the best health care."

The following 35 individuals and groups will be honored during Friday's event: Jane Ashe, Sen. Edward M. Augustus Jr., the Bowditch Family, Denise Brotherton, Dr. Lucy Candib, Kirk A. Carter, state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, Fairman Cowan, the Family Health Center of Worcester Care Team, Mary and Warner Fletcher, Ann Flynn, Lindsay Foley, John Ford, David Forsberg, James Hooley, James Hunt Jr., Dr. Daniel Lasser, Ann T. Lisi, Monica Escobar Lowell, Marie McCarthy-Kaye, Mr. McGovern, Ogretta V. McNeil, Diane Meystre, Charles Monahan, Mr. Murray, Sang Nguyen, Kevin O'Sullivan, Robert P. Powers, Marge Purves, Christina Rivera, Peter A. Stefan, Zoila Torres Feldman, Julia Vera, Dr. Linda Weinreb and Dr. Janice Yost.