Mattapan gears up for Health Revival, center's grand opening

Mattapan Community Health Center's new home in Mattapan Square: Building will be dedicated at 11 a.m. on Monday.Mattapan Community Health Center's new home in Mattapan Square: Building will be dedicated at 11 a.m. on Monday.This is a big week for the Mattapan Community Health Center, the longtime institution that has just completed work on its brand new, $32 million facility in the heart of Mattapan Square. On Monday at 11 a.m., Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino will be among the dignitaries who will join MCHC president/CEO Dr. Azzie Young in dedicating the new building at 1575 Blue Hill Avenue.

The grand opening ushers in a new era of expanded care at MCHC. Dr. Azzie Young, President and CEO of the Center, is standing proud.

“As we mark the Center’s 40th anniversary, we are most proud that we have moved the needle towards a healthier community. We are blessed and could not have made this journey without the support of our board, staff, our donors, lenders, our partners, elected officials, and the neighborhoods we serve. MCHC’s board, staff and patients are eternally grateful for all the support and look forward to welcoming them all to our beautiful new building.”

Monday’s ceremony is not the only big event on MCHC’s calendar this week: On Saturday, the health center will stage its 16th annual Health Care Revival, an all-day outdoor event on the front lawn of the Foley Senior Residences at 249 River Street. The Revival has become a Mattapan tradition, a spiritual and civic gathering that draws residents from across the neighborhood for health screenings, speeches, music and food— along with family-friendly activities. Mattapan Community Health Center’s 2012 Community Health Report Card will also be released at the Revival.

The keynote speaker at Saturday’s Health Care Revival will be Vivien Morris, chairperson of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. Morris is a nutrition consultant who has become a leading voice in the neighborhood on wellness, health and civic issues.

A light breakfast and lunch, including beverages will be provided at the Health Revival, which will be held rain or shine from 9:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

On Monday, Sept. 10 at 11a.m., the Mattapan Community Health Center will officially mark the opening of its new 50,000 square foot building at 1575 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan Square.

Congressman Capuano, Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino are expected to cut the ribbon as part of a community celebration that will be free and open to the public.

There is much to celebrate: the new MCHC facility will also house a Citizens Bank branch and a CVS/pharmacy – the first pharmacy in Mattapan Square in over 30 years.

The four story, stone, steel and glass facility — which houses the health center over the top three floors with retail space on the street level— has already come to define the Mattapan Square of the future. The health center has doubled its capacity to serve patients in both its medical and dental wings.

Funding for the new Mattapan health center came from a variety of sources, including a pivotal seed grant from Boston Medical Center, $12 million through philanthropies, including the Richard and Susan Smith Family Fund, Mass General Hospital, Partners Health Care and Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

But it was $11.55 million through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (frequently dubbed “the stimulus”) that put Dr. Young’s efforts over the top.

“This is where we were supposed to be,” Dr. Young said in a recent interview with the Reporter. “Too many things had to happen for this to come about— and they all did.”

Monday’s 11 a.m. ceremony is free and open to all.