Community leaders and local and state officials gathered Thursday, Jan. 26 to celebrate a new grant-funded public health program introduced by Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES).
The new Wellness Nurse Program establishes an on-site public health nurse at two Malden Supportive Housing sites. The Wellness Nurse conducts weekly office hours with an open-door policy, enabling residents to check in for guidance and care. The nurse is available to check vital signs and assist with a wide variety of medication and health questions, as well as helping residents complete a File of Life document that conveys critical personal health information to first responders in the event of an emergency.
The program launch took place at 630 Salem Street, one of the two buildings where MVES established the pilot program with the support of Malden Housing Authority (MHA). The other location is 557 Pleasant Street in Malden. This Spring, MVES will expand the program to 14 Bloomingdale Street in Chelsea and 45 Dolphin Avenue in Revere. (Please visit our Facebook page to view more photos.)
Joining in the celebration were state Sen. Jason Lewis; state Reps. Paul Donato, Kate Lipper-Garabedian and Steve Ultrino; Malden Mayor Gary Christenson; EOEA Deputy Secretary Robin Lipson and EOEA Public Health Policy and Outreach Director Deanna Mazina; Tovah Miller, Associate Counsel, Mass. Senate Ways and Means Committee; and Whitney Moyer, Vice President of Long Term Services and Supports, Commonwealth Care Alliance.
The audience learned about how the program was developed, how it benefits residents and how it will be expanded in the future. MVES provided healthy refreshments for guests to enjoy as they socialized and discussed public health topics.
The Wellness Nurse Program is made possible by a grant from the state Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA), with federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Malden is just a wonderful example of working together at the state and local level,” said Lisa Gurgone, CEO of Mystic Valley Elder Services.
Stephen Finn, Executive Director of MHA, noted the Wellness Program is the latest in the long-term partnership between MVES and the Housing Authority. MVES supports 2,300 older adults and people with disabilities across 20 Supportive Housing sites, providing services, activities and referrals. With the Wellness Nurse pilot program, he said, “our commitment to each other continues and through that our commitment to our residents.”