This article originally appeared in invision, a magazine
published for staff at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
When Community Healthlink (CHL) formed 30 years ago, its mission was to
provide adult mental illness and addiction services. Today, CHL does that and
much more. As a member of UMass Memorial Health Care, CHL offers an integrated
and extensive network of mental health, substance abuse, rehabilitation,
homeless, youth, family and elder services.
Community Healthlink provides Worcester County vital community services to help
those who often need it the most," said Marie Hobart, MD, chief medical officer.
Added Paul Richard, director of resource development, "I cannot imagine what the
region would be like without us."
Headquartered in Worcester, CHL employs 1,000 people and offers services to
17,000 each year at its Worcester, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner and Leominster
CHL is an important partner of UMass Memorial as together we are helping
people rebuild their lives, recognizing that this benefits the community and
keeps neighborhoods healthy. This explains why adult services include group
living, detoxification, women's recovery, social and vocational programs.
Likewise, the organization is invested in providing youth and family services to
ensure positive social, academic and in-home outcomes.
Two years ago, CHL partnered with the City of Worcester to provide housing
for 120 chronically homeless individuals. Today, 40 have found permanent
housing, while another residential program has helped 400 individuals
rehabilitate off the streets during periods of illness or pre- and
"Through our homeless outreach, we provide services at places like the PIP
Shelter and soup kitchens," said Erik Garcia, MD, who provides urgent and
primary care through CHL in addition to his practice at the Medical Center.
"Depending on the care patients need, I may go with a nurse practitioner, case
manager or a behavioral health specialist."