LAWRENCE — Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) visited with state and community leaders Thursday morning at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center to announce $2 million in federal funding.
The money, Trahan explained, will be used to expand primary health services offered to patients at the 700 Essex St. facility.
The group toured the facility and learned more about pending upgrades made possible by the federal investment.
“Before the pandemic, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center provided critical care that kept our community healthy and safe — but during the pandemic, it became a literal lifesaver,” Trahan said in a statement.
“It’s hard to overstate just how essential the organization has been for families in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill. That’s why I’m so proud to have secured $2 million in federal funds for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which will support expanded health services and strengthened care at its Essex Street facility. I’ll always be a strong advocate for Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and health centers like it that provide critical care to our most vulnerable neighbors.”
The health care network operates seven sites in Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill. Leaders say there is a need to expand services in Lawrence.
The Essex Street facility serves more than 8,000 patients, offering primary care services, opioid treatment, outreach and prevention, behavioral health services, family pharmacy services and more.
Trahan said she secured the $2 million during negotiations over the recently approved government funding package to create 4,000 square feet of new clinic space at its Essex Street facility, perform necessary renovations to the current space, and update medical equipment.
In addition to the benefits to patients, the renovations and upgrades would create 20 jobs in its first year after construction is completed, Trahan said.
Trahan was joined by Lawrence Mayor Brian DePeña, state Reps. Frank Moran (D-Lawrence), Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence), Christina Minicucci (D-North Andover), members of the Lawrence City Council, and medical leaders and staff.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Trahan for her great commitment and leadership. If I can describe Lori in two words, it would be: support and resources because she continues to lead and fight for our communities from Washington,” DePeña said. “Our population is growing quickly and so are our needs. Bringing resources to our community to expand our health care services is not only smart, but critical. Let’s continue moving our city forward.”
Those remarks were echoed by other legislators, each of whom underscored the vital care already provided and the importance of growth.
The facilities have been described as key in the fight against COVID-19, first in testing for the virus and treating COVID-positive patients, and now in vaccination efforts. The health center has received nearly $11 million in COVID-19 relief funding, including $8.5 million awarded through the American Rescue Plan.
The health center was also one of the early participants in President Joe Biden’s Community Health Center Vaccination Program and has administered over 30,000 vaccines since December 2020.