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Our mission at the Holyoke Health Center is to "Improve the health of our patients through affordable, quality health care and comprehensive community-based programs to create a healthy community."

News & Events

Below you'll find the latest news and events.

Holyoke Health Center and all locations will be CLOSED on Monday, July 3rd and Tuesday July 4th.

Holyoke, MA - The Holyoke Health Center is partnering with New England College of Optometry to host the area's first pediatric Mobile Eye Clinic on Thursday, June 22nd from 9:00AM - 3:30PM. The Holyoke Health Center was awarded federal funding to expand eye care services as a response to the lack of accessible vision services for Holyoke residents. The grant funding has allowed Holyoke to create a partnership with NECO, who has provided HHC with an Optometrist who delivers on-site eye care services. On June 22nd the NECO Mobile Eye Clinic will be providing services specifically to our pediatric patients.

NECO's Mobile Eye Clinic can provide services to up to four children at one time. During the clinic on Thursday, we anticipate services will be provided to approximately 40 HHC pediatric patients throughout the day. The Mobile Eye Clinic will be equipped with two examination rooms and two pediatric optometrists that will provide comprehensive eye exams to our patients, and prescriptions for eye glasses if needed. Once the patient receives the prescription, they can order their eye glasses from the Holyoke Health Center Eye Care Clinic, and can return to HHC for their follow-up eye care needs.

According to Jay Breines, CEO of Holyoke Health Center, "Children in Holyoke have an exceptionally difficult time accessing vision treatment after they've been identified with a problem. It is recognized that 15-20% of children fail their vision test, and 10-20% of those children will not get follow up care they need such as prescriptions and eye glasses." The goal of our partnership with NECO and their Mobile Eye Clinic is to provide our pediatric patients who we've identified as failing a vision screening with comprehensive eye examinations that will result in a prescription for eye glasses if needed. Those who need follow up services will be able to receive care from our Holyoke Health Center Eye Care Clinic. 

One of the benefits built into the Affordable Care Act was new funding for community health centers to expand vision services. The need for this expansion was demonstrated by the fact that 9000 health center offices operated by the 1200 health center organizations only employed 134 optometrists for on-site, full time comprehensive vision services. Vision problems among the pediatric population are often undiagnosed and untreated, and low-income patients of the health centers were clearly at risk, and ACA funding was aimed at providing a way to focus more resources on the probable problems of those patients. The partnership between HHC and NECO is a further effort to make sure those needs are met in the Holyoke area.


To learn more about the New England College of Optometry, and the Mobile Eye Clinic, please visit www.necoeyecare.org

Jay Breines, CEO of Holyoke Health Center and Carrie Buckner, Board of Directors member

Congratulations to our Board of Directors member, Carrie Buckner on receiving the Joseph M. Smith Consumer Award at the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Awards Gala on June 16th 2017. The Joseph M. Smith Consumer Award was established in honor of the late Joseph M. Smith who served on the League's Board of Directors and was an avid supporter of the community health center movement in Boston. This award is presented annually to a past or present board member of a MA League community health center and is modeled after community activists and board visionaries.

Carrie has served as a member of Holyoke Health Center's Board of Directors for over 20 years. We congratulate Carrie on receiving this prestigious award!

An important training session for service providers on "Immigrant Rights and Keeping Families Safe" was held on Tuesday, June 6th at the Holyoke Health Center, 230 Maple Street, Holyoke, MA from 2:30 - 4:00PM. Holyoke Health Center, Holyoke Public Schools and the ACLU Immigrant Protection Project sponsored this event, whose purpose was to prepare our programs to offer the best support and advice to our patients, clients or students and their families. Fifty four individuals attended this event from different agencies. There was a second training program held from 4:30 - 6:00PM for the general public. As a result of this event, two community members had the opportunity to have a private conversation with a lawyer and scheduled a follow up appointment.

"Things are moving very rapidly in this new environment, and as we hear about patients staying away from health care and other needed services, potential inquiries directed at health care providers and schools, the potential of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers entering our facilities, and so on, we need to have accurate and helpful information and contacts available to us", says Ana Jaramillo, Program Supervisor of Holyoke Health Center. This training event helped to provide information and create a small community of support for everyone, and affected families to access if needed.

"We must be vigilant in finding ways we can engage collectively, become activists in defense of our patients, school families, and community, and build bridges leading to the safe haven within our agencies' walls", says Jaramillo.


For more information about this training, please call Ana Jaramillo at (413) 420-2860 or Chris Craig at (413) 420-2111.

Holyoke Health Center and all locations will be CLOSED on Monday, May 29th for the holiday.

Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, May 30th.


National Women's Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to encourage women to take steps to improve their health. The 18th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 14, and is celebrated through May 20, 2017.

What steps can I take for better health?

To improve your physical and mental health, you can:

  • Visit a doctor or nurse for a well-woman visit (check-up) and preventative screenings.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seat-belt or bicycle helmet.

Find out what additional step you can take based on your age.

SOURCE: www.womenshealth.gov

We would like to assess the knowledge of our patients when it comes to emergency contraceptives (EC). This will help us understand if we need to provide more education and support to our patients on EC. Please click on the link to access this short survey. Thank you!



(Holyoke, MA) - Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide are expected to participate in National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month this May, particularly on the 16th annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, taking place on May 3, 2017. The purpose of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avioding too-early pregnancy and parenthood through an interactive online quiz.

Throughout the month of May, teens nationwide are asked to visit StayTeen.org and take the National Day Quiz and play Level Up: An Epic Swiping Adventure, two interactive, engaging digital resources that challenge them to think carefully about what they might do "in the moment" through a series of interactive scenarios.

The extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing over the past two decades prove that progress can be made on tough issues. In fact, few social problems have improved quite as dramatically over the past 20 years as teen pregnancy.

The latest news on the teen pregnancy front has been incredibly positive. Since the early 1990s, teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have declined by 55% and 64% respectively and are now at record low levels.

The Holyoke Health Center has been a strong supporter of teen pregnancy prevention in the Holyoke community. We are actively involved in the Mayor's Task Force to prevent teen pregnancy; Holyoke's Adolescent Sexual Health and Pregnancy Prevention Accountability Committee (HASHPPAC). Since the committee was formed in 2010, Holyoke's teen birth rates have decreased by 52%. 

For more information on National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, please visit TheNationalCampaign.org

National Minority Health Month 2017: Bridging Health Equity Across Communities

Did you know that your zip code can be a predictor of your health? Along with your income and education level, where you are born, grow, live, work, play, learn, and age determines your quality of health. The choices you make each day about what to eat, when to work out and whether or not to see a doctor are important. The condition of your surroundings, or the social determinants of health, is the other part of the foundation upon which better health is built. However, many American, particularly racial and ethnic minority populations, are significantly impacted by the social determinants of health and the resulting disparities, or inequities, in health and health care.

Each April during National Minority Health Month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) raises awareness about health disparities, their causes and the impact they have on minority communities and on the nation as a whole. This year, the HHS OMH is proud to join its partners in communities throughout the country as we build bridges to help end disparities in health and health care.

Bridging health equity across communities extends beyond public health - it focuses attention on the indirect social and economic conditions in which we live. By addressing the social determinants of health and working together across sectors, we can help eliminate health disparities and advance health equity for everyone.

National Minority Health Month 2017 is focused on access to transportation that makes it possible to get to a well visit; neighborhoods where it is possible to exercise or play outdoors; and accessible grocery stores that make it possible to eat a well-balanced diet. Through collaboration with those who lead efforts to improve education, the safety of our neighborhoods, and other aspects of our communities, we can improve living conditions and help individuals live longer and healthier lives.

To learn more, visit the National Minority Health Month website and sign up for OMH email updates.