Community resources

Silhouette of city skyline with the word CommunityHELP

We are thrilled to be part of the Integration Team for CommunityHELP, a new integrated resource referral system that works for everybody!

 

 You can visit CommunityHELP.net from any browser.

Maintaining an updated list of community resources is no small feat.  Our Office for Clinical Integration has orchestrated a project to address this need. Working with a multitude of partners, the CommunityHELP platform has been developed to help conenct people with the right resources at the right time.  

*Clinicians can make and track referrals to community partner agencies within the EPIC electronic medical record. They can even set up folders for quick access to their favorites! 

*Staff in and out of the hospital setting can work with clients to develop care plans utilizing the most appropriate resources.

*Care agencies can manage and update their own listings of services so providers know what is offered locally and can find the best options.

*Patients and family members can search for solutions on their own or follow up on advice from their care teams.

 

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Update on access to food resources during the government shutdown, January 2019

Click here to access an English or Spanish-language flier from MLRI, Massachusetts Food Banks and Project Bread explaining what is happening for clients. As soon as possible, please distribute widely with your networks and with SNAP households. 

2. DTA will be issuing February SNAP EARLY - between January 17th and 20th. Just like all normal SNAP payments, this SNAP does not expire and will remain on the card until the household uses it. 

3. We encourage those who need to take action on their SNAP case (such as an Interim Report or Recertification) to take action as soon as possible. After January 20th, DTA will be processing cases as normal - but due to lack of clarity about funding on the federal level, it is important for SNAP households to do outstanding paperwork as soon as possible. 

4. As they are finalized we will share DTA outreach and materials/resources on SNAP and the shutdown - in general, DTA will be updating information here: Mass.gov/DTA. DTA is working very hard to be clear with SNAP households about this massive and unprecedented early issuance. 

 

Some local favorite resources are highlighted below:

Worcester Community Connections worked with many agencies to compile an updated list of mentoring groups in the city, including but not limited to groups for teens, parents, grandparents, caregivers - general and or specific conditions, recovery communities, refugees, and more.We have a wealth of support available locally, and now there's a place to find it. Updated January 2019.   

Coming Home Worcester: provides a helpful guide to resources available to those re-entering Worcester following incarceration. 

There are times when legal intervention is needed to improve a patient's health. Community Legal Aid provides assistance with benefit denial, housing law, and more. 

You can connect quickly to many Worcester Public School programs from their homepage; you might also direct people to their Worcester Public School Family Resource Guide , last updated March 2014.  Another useful resource for those with school-aged children is the After School Program Guide compiled by Worcester Community Connections, last updated January 2016. 

Worcester Department of Public Health: city-specific information on seasonal flu and West Nile, public health nursing and emergency preparedness.

www.Mass211.org from the United Way:  Within the Commonwealth there are literally thousands of phone numbers for health and social service programs, government offices, community organizations, volunteer referral centers, donation clearinghouses, educational systems and neighborhood groups. You or your patient can call 211 and get help finding just the right number.

Mass in Motion:  this state DPH-sponsored website provides good links to resources for your patients who want to "eat better" and "move more" to maintain good health.  Pretty comprehensive, with info on how to tell if you're getting enough exercise, ideas for adding physical activity gradually, recommendations for exercising within other physical limitations, and more.

Worcester County Local Food Guide: farmer’s markets, local food vendors and restaurants using locally grown food

Multi-service agencies that can help your patients with their social service needs:

Worcester Community Action Council: helps with heat assistance, food access, tax preparation, employment searches, and a wide range of other types of assistance.  Within the WCAC is also the Community Connections Coalition, a parent-led group which updates and publishes a resource guide for families, available as paper booklets for $1 each.

YWCA and YMCA offer programs for families, adults, and children in healthy eating and exercise. The YWCA also offers assistance with child care, career services, transitional housing and access to domestic violence awareness, assistance and prevention programs.  The YMCA offers programs in men's health as well as for active adults and teens.

Elder Services can help with many questions and needs related to the elderly population.  Another resource for this age group is 1-800-AGE-INFO, a phone number with a corresponding website that has numerous useful links.

Resources in the North County

Montachusett Opportunity Council - MOCINC.org. This is the big community action agency for the region.

Community Health Connections, Inc. - chcfhc.org. This is the federally qualified health center organization for the north county region. It hosts the Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency Program.

Cleghorn Neighborhood Center - http://www.cleghorncenter.org/. A major resource for Latinos since the 1960s.

Spanish American Center - http://www.spanishamericancenter.org/. Also around since the 1960s, a key organization for the Latino communities.

Metta Health Center at the Lowell Community Health Center: provides access to eastern and western medicine, from primary care and mental health to meditation and acupuncture, designed for the Southeast Asian population. 

 In 2018, Dr. Cashman worked with the Montachusett Area Regional Transportation system (MART) to create simplified brochures for those requesting paratransit to doctors' appointments or elsewhere.  Want to order a PT1 tranpsort?  Here's how to do it, formatted as a one-pager and as a trifold brochure