Saturday March 30, 2013

A huge thank you to the Goodworks Insurance company and Chairman Chad Yonker for recognizing a critical need in the Berkshires and stepping forward to help offset the financial cuts to Community Health Programs (CHP) due to federal sequestration. By donating $10,000 to CHP, Goodworks Insurance is invested in helping CHP continue to serve more than 10 percent of the residents of the county.

To urge other businesses and individuals to follow their example, Goodworks will increase their donation by an additional $5,000 if others in the community contribute $50,000 to CHP to meet the needs of our residents. Mr. Yonker and his employees recognize that healthy employees, customers, friends, and neighbors are important to the overall well-being of this place we call home, and that it will take community-wide efforts to help us help others.

Berkshire County is mired in the bottom third of Massachusetts counties when it comes to health outcomes; CHP and many other organizations work tirelessly to improve the health of residents, yet cutting our federal funding makes this task more daunting then before. It puts the poorest and the most ill at great risk of worsening health and more most expensive options such as the emergency room. Goodworks Insurance has taken a stand to protect those in need of help. I am hopeful that others will follow their lead and invest in CHP as a critical community resource.

Long ago, Community Health Programs made a social contract with the communities we serve to provide high quality health care and support services to anyone in the area. This contract has depended on a strong partnership with the State and Federal government. Our federal partner has reduced financial support, our State partner has not increased reimbursement rates for four years, yet the need for our services continues to rise.

Goodworks Insurance has recognized the need. On behalf of the 20,000 people CHP serves, I ask that you join Goodworks Insurance in supporting our community. To do so, you can visit: www.communityhealthrprograms.org/donate/ or call 528-9311, ext. 1178 for more information.

BRYAN AYARS

Great Barrington

The writer is CEO Community Health Programs, Great Barrington, Lee, and Pittsfield.