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Business Briefs: CHP adds three to staff; MassHealth signs MCO contracts; Berkshire Museum gains trustees; community development grant for Greylock; health education collaborative at BCC

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By Saturday, Oct 7, 2017 Trade and Commerce

Community Health Programs adds three to medical, dental staff

Claire Horth, M.D. Photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Great Barrington — Community Health Programs has added three health care providers to its Berkshire network of medical and dental centers.

Claire Horth, M.D., has joined the primary care team at CHP Community Health Center in Great Barrington. A graduate of UMass School of Medicine in Worcester, she completed her residency through Brown University at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and earned her undergraduate degree with honors at Notre Dame University. She has a particular interest in preventive medicine as well as adolescent and women’s health.

Gina Nickels-Nelson, F.N.P. Photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Family nurse practitioner Gina Nickels-Nelson has joined the primary care team at CHP Berkshire Pediatrics in Pittsfield. She earned her master’s degree in nursing at the University of Rochester after completing her undergraduate nursing degree from Northern Michigan University. She has specialized in pediatric urgent care and wellness care, and is currently completing her doctor of nursing practice degree at the University of Texas at Tyler. She is focusing on improving adolescent asthmatic health outcomes.

Elwira Tyra, D.D.S. photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Elwira Tyra, D.D.S., has joined the dental staff at CHP Neighborhood Dental Center, 510 North St., in Pittsfield. She graduated from Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland with her doctor of dental surgery degree, followed by a dental residency program at Collegium Stomatologicum in Poznan. She then moved back to the United States and completed her general practice dental residency at CHP through Berkshire Medical Center’s residency program. A resident of Connecticut where she attended the University of Connecticut, she is fluent in English and Polish. She gives back to her community through volunteer activities and is committed to providing quality care for all her patients.


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MassHealth signs with two managed care organizations

Boston — The Baker-Polito administration announced Tuesday that MassHealth has selected and signed contracts with Boston Medical Center Health Plan and Tufts Health Public Plans to manage primary, behavioral, pharmacy and specialty care for approximately 150,000 to 200,000 members in the MassHealth managed care organization program. The new MCO contracts are effective March 2018 for a five-year period through December 2022 and, combined, are valued at approximately $1 billion per year.

MassHealth is restructuring its health care delivery system through the implementation of 17 accountable care organizations that are expected to cover nearly 900,000 MassHealth members effective March 2018. In addition to ACOs, members will also have the choice of selecting coverage from one of the newly selected MCOs or through MassHealth’s primary care clinician plan. Together the three programs will cover approximately 1.2 million MassHealth members.

The two MCOs selected will be responsible for supporting efficient care delivery, utilization management and ensuring that members receive high-quality care. BMCHP will be available to members across the state, and Tufts will be available to members throughout most of the state, with the exception of the southern region. The new MCO contract gives MassHealth additional tools to enhance performance and contract management of its contracted health plans and sets enhanced expectations for screening for care needs and caring for complex populations. Similar to the ACO program, members enrolled in MCOs will also be eligible to receive care coordination through the Community Partners program.


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Berkshire Museum gains two trustees

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum’s board of trustees of the held its annual meeting Sept. 25 and elected Caitlin Pemble and David Neubert, who will each serve a two-year term, as new trustees.

Caitlin Pemble. Photo courtesy Berkshire Museum

Pemble, of Pittsfield, is director of agency talent acquisition and development initiatives at Guardian Life Insurance. Prior to joining Guardian, Pemble worked for MassMutual Financial Group in a variety of roles. She is a current member of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board’s executive committee, a member of the Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation board, a past chair and current steering committee member of the Berkshire Leadership Program, and co-chair of Pittsfield Promise. Pemble served in AmeriCorps, received her undergraduate degree from Smith College, is a graduate of the Boston College Graduate School of Management’s Corporate Community Involvement program and also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Westfield State University. She and her husband, Gary, live on a family farm.

Neubert, of Lenox, is a partner in Eagle Bay Advisors, a boutique multi-family office. A native of Monterey, California, Neubert has worked in international finance in New York, London, Tokyo and São Paulo, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pitzer College. Neubert founded the online investment magazine the Panelist and co-founded the online investment and education platform Kapitall. He has served on nonprofit boards with the New World Foundation and Performance Space 122. He currently serves on the boards of Seize Sur Vingt, Trion Interactive, and MedicalRecords.com. Neubert is a member of the Lenox Finance Committee, volunteers with Lenox youth baseball and advises young startup entrepreneurs. He and his wife have school-aged children, keep chickens, grow corn and occasionally operate a vegetable stand.


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Greylock receives $686,000 community development grant

Pittsfield — Greylock Federal Credit Union has announced it will expand community development programs with the help of $686,000 in grant funds from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which awards grants of up to $2 million to help certified CDFIs sustain and expand their products and services to low-income communities and disadvantaged businesses. Greylock was certified as a CDFI in 2015 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Greylock will use the CDFI grant funds to supplement its roll out of almost $8 million in auto loans that help credit-challenged borrowers avoid predatory car loans; $2 million in small-business loans to create new jobs in Berkshire County; and $750,000 in safety net loans, which are alternatives to payday loans. The funds will also help support Greylock’s community development initiatives by ensuring sufficient financial literacy coaches to meet the needs of its members and those of the community.


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BCC, Berkshire AHEC to create health education collaborative

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College and the Berkshire Area Health Education Center have announced the creation of the BCC Area Health Education Collaborative, a partnership designed to foster innovation and expand their impact and reach. In order to facilitate the development of joint programs, the collaborative will reside on the BCC’s main campus.

“Through this collaborative partnership, BCC aims to enter a vital new market space while serving the needs of our community,” said Jill Sasso Curtis, BCC’s dean of community engagement, education and workforce development. “With regard to continuing education, the College’s ultimate goal would be to enhance the current Berkshire AHEC mission, serving current as well as new populations and creating new programs, conferences and events to meet their needs. While our focus will be on developing the local healthcare workforce and serving the health education needs of the Berkshire community, we also plan to serve audiences beyond the Berkshires.”

BCC and Berkshire AHEC are also interested in developing significant, credit-based initiatives related to health profession education. They will explore ways to increase the interest of prospective and current BCC students in health professions and creating pathways from BCC into those professions. Over the next year, the two organizations will create joint continuing-education programs through the collaborative with the intention of integrating more deeply as the collaboration proves to be successful. During the exploratory period, they will work together to develop a shared vision for a long-term partnership.


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