||Lowell CHC employees during the early years (top) and an artist rendering of the Shaughnessy Terrace public housing complex, site of our first clinic in 1970 (bottom).
It all began with a bold idea.
That everyone deserved access to quality health care.
Your community health center is rooted in the belief that
everyone in Greater Lowell deserves access to quality, affordable health care.
1965, the national community health center movement launched as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty. The first two CHC's were located in Boston's Columbia Point neighborhood and in rural Mississippi.
This was thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Dr. H Jack Geiger, a pioneering physician who traveled the world advocating for issues related to human rights, health, and discrimination. Dr. Geiger modeled the health center movement in the U.S. on community-based health initiatives he'd seen while visiting South Africa.
Planting the seed in Lowell
In 1970, the movement came to Lowell. That was when
Lowell General Hospital (LGH) established a small, community-based clinic in an apartment at the
Shaughnessy Terrace public housing
complex. The clinic focused on prenatal and pediatric care, all easily accessible to residents.
That model proved successful. Additional clinics soon followed in neighborhoods throughout the City, staffed by providers from LGH and supported by the extensive outreach efforts of residents and Lowell Visiting Nurses.
"I look back and say, 'Wow, look at what this has become!'"
-Joan Bennett, first Lowell CHC employee, hired fresh out of college to staff and manage the Shaughnessy Terrace clinic back in 1970