Women’s Health Week: Preconception Health


May 14-20 is National Women’s Health Week! Marissa Goldman-Halpin, LCSW, Manager of Women’s Health Services at Neponset Health Center, talks about the significance of preconception health.

Why is preconception health so important? Research explains that unplanned pregnancies are at greater risk of preterm births and low birth weight babies. Furthermore, despite important advances in medicine and prenatal care, about 1 in 8 babies is born too early. So, how do we prevent preterm births and babies born with low birth weights? At the Women’s Health Department of the Neponset Health Center, support staff and providers are taking action on health issues as well as risks before pregnancies by providing tailored services aimed at preventing problems that might affect women and their babies later on. In addition to the ongoing relationship and contract with the Action for Boston and Community Development, Neponset Health Center also has been awarded two grants through Tufts Hospital that provides case management, outreach, and educational support services that are known to be effective with improving maternal and health outcomes, reducing low birth weights, and eliminating preterm deaths all together.

Within the health center, family planning counselors and providers assist with delivering services that educate women around healthy practices, prior to conception. Through these initiatives, and a shift in providing perinatal services before, during, and after, a woman gets pregnant, trends leading to low birth weights and preterm deaths have proven to decrease. Additionally, for those who are seeking pregnancies, or currently pregnant, nutritional, case management, behavioral health, and other non-ancillary services can be utilized. For those who are seeking pregnancy, and are sexually active and not using birth control, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about your preconception health now. Preconception care should begin at least three months before you get pregnant. But, also remember that some women need more time to get their bodies ready for pregnancy.

To schedule a family planning, preconception health, or prenatal visit, at Neponset Health Center, please contact the Women’s Health department directly at 617-533-2288.

Marissa Goldman-Halpin, LCSW

Manager for the Women’s Health Department

Harbor Receives PRIME Certification for Behavioral Health Integration

2017 PCMH PRIME CertifiedHarbor Health Services, Inc. is proud to announce that all of its health centers that provide primary care have received PCMH PRIME Certification. Neponset Health Center, Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, Harbor Community Health Center Hyannis, and Harbor Community Plymouth have all met the criteria for integrating behavioral health services into a primary care setting. The PCMH Prime Certification Program was developed by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The program requires that practices meet majority of the following criteria and order to receive the certification:

  • Behavioral Health Integration: Integration of behavioral health through formal agreements, co-location or provider integration.
  • Comprehensive Health Assessment: Comprehensive health assessments that include screenings for behavioral health conditions, such as depression, post-partum depression, anxiety, developmental delays and substance use disorder.
  • Identifying High-Risk Patients: IA system for identifying high-risk patients for targeted care management.
  • Referral Tracking and Follow-Up: Tracking and following up on referrals to specialists, including behavioral healthcare providers.
  • Evidence-Based Decision Support:Using evidence-based guidelines to make decisions about support for mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Addiction Treatment:Medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

Behavioral Health Consultants at Harbor Health Services, Inc. work with patients and their care teams to discuss and create care plans for a variety of physical and emotional health problems including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Illness/ Pain
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Grief and Loss
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tobbacco Use
  • Weight Loss

For more information about Harbor Health’s Integrated Behavioral Health Services, please contact your local health center.






Neponset Health Center Board Room Dedicated to Long-time Employee

Friends, family, and staff gathered to honor Freda Nola, who recently retired after 40 years with Neponset Health Center (NHC) in Dorchester, by renaming the NHC Board Room in her name! Freda joined the NHC Board of Directors in 1974, and then became the health center’s switchboard operator in 1976.

Speakers at the event included Chuck Jones, President and CEO of Harbor Health Services, Inc. (HHSI), Kevin Casey, Executive Director of Neponset Health Center and Geiger Gibson Community Health Center, and Dan Driscoll, former President and CEO of HHSI and also Freda’s co-worker for 40 years. Freda’s husband, children, friends and co-workers gathered for the dedication ceremony and unveiling of the “Freda T. Nolan Board Room.”

Welcome New CEO Chuck Jones!

  chuck-jonesChuck Jones has assumed the role of  President & Chief Executive Officer of Harbor Health Services, Inc. (HHSI). Mr. Jones succeeds Dan Driscoll, who retired in February after 40 years of service at HHSI. Prior to joining HHSI, Mr. Jones was the CEO of Thundermist Health Center in Rhode Island. Mr. Jones joined Thundermist in 2008 as Chief Information Officer and added responsibilities as Executive Director of the Woonsocket center shortly thereafter. In 2011, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer. He serves on the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Health Center Association and the Rhode Island Public Expenditures Council.

Prior to joining Thundermist, Mr. Jones spent 9 years focused on technology outsourcing and consulting primarily in the health care industry. He graduated with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy and later earned a Masters of Business Administration from Bentley College. Mr. Jones served for three years in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer with tours in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and many ports on both coasts of the U.S.


New Dental Lift Chair for People Who Use Wheelchairs at Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis



HYANNIS–Proper dental care can be a challenge for people who use wheelchairs. Many patients feel vulnerable when removed from their wheelchairs, and transfer to a dental chair can be daunting for both patients and dental providers. Remaining seated in a wheelchair doesn’t allow for the reclined angle or stability necessary for many dental procedures.

All this was a big concern for dentist at Harbor Health Services who treated patients in wheelchairs, especially during oral surgery and other complex procedures. “It’s really best for a patient to be at a 180 degree angle for many procedures,” explains Dr. Danisel Gil. Often, he adds, even patients who are able to transfer to the standard dental chair do not have the muscle control necessary to maintain the proper position, resulting in a precarious and distressing situation.

Harbor Community Health Center-Hyannis is delighted to announce that many of those concerns are able to be addressed thanks to a new wheelchair tilt available at the organization’s Attuck’s Lane dental offices. Custom made, the tilt is a lift which permits the patient to remain seated, reclining both the patient and the wheelchair and allowing the dental provider to adjust the degree of tilt during treatment. The lift is safe and comfortable, and it allows patients to be receive the services they need. Also of primary importance is that it allows Harbor Health Services dental providers to maintain patients’ dignity while receiving services.

Patients and others who would like to learn more or to schedule an appointment may contact Harbor Health Services at 508 778-5440.