The MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center – MGH’s oldest community health center and one of the first established in Boston and the nation – will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September.

“We’re excited to celebrate MGH Charlestown’s 50 illustrious years of caring for this community and rising to meet its challenges, including issues such as youth violence and trauma, opioid addiction and food insecurity,” says Jim Morrill, MD, medical director at MGH Charlestown. “We look forward to continuing to grow, learn and carry our work forward into the future alongside our health center colleagues in Everett, Chelsea and Revere.”

MGH Charlestown was founded in 1968 as part of a coordinated citywide districting plan to provide comprehensive medical care to all Boston residents and work with the city’s teaching hospitals. The practice now provides adult and pediatric primary care to more than 10,000 people, and specialty care in mental health, dermatology, neurology, nutrition, OB/GYN, physical therapy and podiatry. Additional services include patient navigation, health education and wellness services, viral hepatitis/HIV/STI programs, substance use disorder nurses and recovery coaching. Morrill says, throughrelationships with local nonprofit organizations, coalitions and schools, MGH Charlestown has responded to the needs of the community with programs and initiatives ranging from school-based behavioral health care and trauma support for Charlestown families, home visits, community education and efforts to address the opioid crisis.

“As part of our preparation for this event, we have met individuals who worked here when the health center opened and residents who have been coming to the clinic for those 50 years,” says Jean Bernhardt, administrative director of MGH Charlestown. “It has been amazing to see how loved the health center is by this community.”

A Sept. 28 celebration from 4-7 pm at the health center will feature speakers, activities, swag bags, light refreshments and a presentation on the history of the health center’s contributions to Charlestown.

Read more articles from the 08/24/18 Hotline issue.