Greenfield’s Center for Wellness opens

  • Jim Goodwin, CEO of Center for Human and Development, speaks at the podium to welcome guests to the new Community Health Center on Main Street in Greenfield on Friday morning. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The new Greenfield Center for Wellness on Main Street in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Guests and employees mingle in the lobby of the new Community Health Center on Main Street in Greenfield on Friday morning. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Dental suites at the new Greenfield Center for Wellness on Main Street in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Jim Goodwin, CEO of CHD, heads up to the podium to welcome guests to the new Community Health Center on Main Street in Greenfield Friday morning. Senator Stan Rosenberg and Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin applaud. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Pediatric Dental Suite at the new Greenfield Center for Wellness on Main Street in Greenfield Friday morning. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • What will be a medical exam room at the new Greenfield Center for Wellness on Main Street in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Published: 4/20/2018 8:40:55 PM

GREENFIELD — With the opening of the new $6 million Greenfield Center for Wellness on Main Street, nearly 100 local health professionals packed the room.

They heard different thoughts about what makes this place — co-run by the Center for Human Development and the Community Health Center of Franklin County — unique.

Jim Goodwin, the head of Center for Human and Development, the Springfield-based health provider, talked about the value of this new collaboration.

“The medical world is changing,” Goodwin said, pointing out that the center will now open its doors to new and existing patients of the two agencies. “There’s an integration going on.”

Community Health Center’s head, Ed Sayers, talked about how his organization has always valued bringing services together for the ease of the patient. “Integration really is not a new idea for community health centers,” he said. “Health care is about taking care of the whole person.”

“The real work of integration is just the beginning when two organizations share a space,” Sayers said, now that his group has moved into this “one-stop shop” space from its offices at Cherry Rum Plaza and its dental services at the Farren Center in Turners Falls. “I’m looking forward to making it a reality.”

State Sen. Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, congratulated both groups on their growth over recent years and their ability to serve the area as health care evolves. He called this partnership an “ideal situation.”

“We have been working on the concept and the integration of the concept,” at the state level, Rosenberg said. “We’re finally acting on this recognition that body and mind go together. People, to be truly healthy, need attention in many spheres in the health realm.”

Also joining in the praise about this new collaboration were state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and a representative from Congressman Jim McGovern’s office.

Mayor William Martin took a slightly different approach in explaining what made Friday a seminal moment for health care in the county.

He drew back to 1812, when Greenfield was selected as the capital of Franklin County, because, “Greenfield always provided services and resources to the towns around it, especially the Hilltowns.”

No longer the county seat, Martin still sees Greenfield as part of the center of the region. He said as the economy of a downtown changed through the 1950s to ’70s, “It was obvious we couldn’t have what we had.”

Since then, the mayor’s office has worked on plans for the revitalization of Greenfield. “Some say, ‘Maybe we keep the big box out.’ I don’t particularly agree with that,” Martin said.

Instead, he said people also want arts and entertainment, to feel safe and pleasant in an area. He said this was a “prime example of how we can take an older building and do a historic preservation.” The new health center occupies a space that once housed a Sears and Roebuck. Everyone who spoke Friday morning touted the tax credits that the local politicians helped to get so that building could be rebuilt; the developers are still working on finishing the facade to help meet the accreditation.

“We continue to provide for what’s happening next to keep Greenfield, a survivor in an age of stiff competition not only in our geographic area, but also broadband marketing and Amazon … to satisfy our needs of our people,” Martin said.

He caught himself, “I know I’m rambling,” but the point had already landed.

The new health center on Main Street was a sign of a new frontier of the city’s efforts of revitalization of downtown.

“If we can provide as the government what people need,” Martin said, then “the market will provide what people want.”

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264.




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