Federal Communications Commission Launches Emergency Broadband Benefit

On May 12th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) kicked off the Emergency Broadband Benefit. The benefit provides eligible consumers discounts on broadband service and devices.  The benefit will continue until there is no longer funding or six months after the federal government declares an end to the pandemic.

Eligible households will be able to receive:

  • $50/month discount for high-speed internet services. 
  • $75/month discount for high-speed internet services for households on Tribal lands. 
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider. 

In Massachusetts, 26 broadband providers are offering the benefit. The benefit is available to eligible new, prior, and existing customers of participating providers.

The eligibility for the benefit is broad. It includes any household with an income at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines, or if any member of the household qualifies through various means. This includes but is not limited to participation in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program, as well as certain qualifying events such as experiencing substantial loss of income or receiving a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.

Customers can sign up by contacting a participating provider, enrolling online at https://getemergencybroadband.org/, or sending forms via mail. 

More information about the application process is available onlineor by calling (833) 511-0311.

The FCC has also created outreach materials, including flyers, brochures, application forms and instructions. Application forms and instructions are available in ten languages.

For more information, visit the Emergency Broadband Benefit website.

Montachusett Home Care Honors Two Individuals with the Eleanor Gilmartin & Margaret Kielty Awards

Leominster, MA – The Montachusett Home Care Corporation (MHCC) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Eleanor Gilmartin and Margaret Kielty Awards.

The “Eleanor Gilmartin Award for Professional Excellence” was established by the Board to honor Eleanor Gilmartin, the first Executive Director of MHCC. The selection for this award is based on positive leadership, discretion, use of good judgment, taking initiative, exemplary performance, kindness, and loyalty to the agency mission.

Eleanor Gilmartin stated, “I am so impressed by the qualifications of those nominated.  They all have outstanding skills in their field.  The person chosen, Kristina Sanderson, received three nominations and I can see why.  She personifies all that being a case manager means.” According to Lori Richardson, Chief Executive Officer at MHCC, “Kristina is a valued employee and has been with the agency for over eight years.  She consistently demonstrates initiative, is a mentor to other staff, and works with “heart”.  Her positive attitude and commitment to our consumers and mission of empowering individuals to live with dignity, safety, and respect is inspiring”.

The “Margaret Kielty Outstanding Service Award” was established by the MHCC Board to recognize outstanding service by a homemaker. The award is named after Margaret Kielty, founding President of the Board. Nominations are based on competency, dependability, compassion, trustworthiness, and professionalism in dealing with clients, family, and staff.

This year’s recipient of the Margaret Kielty Award is Lydia Boateng, Supportive Home Health Aide for Associated Home Care.  For over eight years Lydia has exemplified what it means to be both reliable and dependable.  Ms. Boateng does not have one single call-out on record. Richardson commented, “We are humbled to have such kind and compassionate professionals providing direct care to our older adults in their homes.  They make the difference in ensuring safety, dignity, and respect for those we serve.  Isn’t that what we want for everyone in need, or who needs a little extra help to stay in the community?  Lydia exemplifies the important work that these warriors do every day”.

Normally, these awards are given out at the agency’s annual breakfast which a celebration of the important partnerships with local legislators, The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging, our local Council on Aging’s and Housing Authorities, as well as our provider agencies.  Richardson stated, “Due to COVID, we had to cancel the event, but wanted to continue with the important recognition awards.  On behalf of the Board of Directors of Montachusett Home Care, congratulations to Kristina and Lydia! Thank you to all of those we partner with to make a difference for older adults and individuals with disabilities in our community.  We look forward to the day when we can gather together in person.”

Business or community members interested in learning more about MHCC’s dynamic line of work should contact David at (978) 466-1571 or via email at DGinisi@mhcc-1.org.

Montachusett Home Care Welcomes Three New Board Members

Leominster, MA – The Montachusett Home Care Corporation (MHCC) is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its Board of Directors. Sterling Council on Aging Board Member, Elizabeth Pape; Senior Vice President of Fidelity Bank, Jennifer Conrad; and Director of Care Coordination at UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, Mary Mathieu.

Ms. Pape is an active member of the Sterling Council on Aging (COA) and led the effort to update the COA’s by-laws, policies, and procedures, and to create the Sterling Senior Center policies and guidelines manual. She created an onboard process and manual for all new COA board members and collaboratively worked to create a 5-year Strategic Plan for the Sterling Senior Center.   Her experience includes cutting-edge development of on-line learning and strategic planning for non-profit organizations.

Ms. Conrad has been an executive-level banking professional in cash management for over twenty years in Commercial, Non-Profit and Government Banking sectors.  She is a proven leader with a passion for supporting local community businesses.   She has a strong track record in strategic planning and improving all aspects of operational processes. Her expertise includes management, leadership, coaching and team development, new product development, and implementation.

Ms. Mathieu is a professional nursing leader with extensive healthcare experience in a variety of settings including acute care, long term care, subacute care, managed care, home care, provider offices, and academia.  She has significant experience in clinical operations, fiscal management, and leadership development and teamwork at all organizational levels.  She also has a demonstrated knowledge of progressive contemporary practices and trends in healthcare and case management, including the integration of technology.

Lori Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of MHCC commented, “We are excited to have Liz, Jennifer, and Mary, each a proven community leader, join our Board of Directors.  Their unique and tremendous experience will support our mission of providing comprehensive information and quality services so that older people, individuals with disabilities, and their families are empowered to make personalized choices to ensure a life of dignity, safety, and respect.”

MHCC is also pleased to announce the appointment of new Vice President, Peter MacDonald of Sunrise Senior Living. Current Board Officers also include: President, Christine Dixon; Treasurer, William McSheehy; and Clerk, Elaine Mroz.  Other Board members are Julie Johnson, Esquire; Donna Joyce-Baird; Reverend Richard Olson; Edward Snapp; Donald Parker, and Edward Woodcome.

Business or community members interested in learning more about MHCC’s dynamic line of work should contact David at (978) 466-1571 or via email at DGinisi@mhcc-1.org.

Ginisi Selected as Chief Marketing Officer

Leominster, MA – The Montachusett Home Care Corporation is pleased to announce the selection of David Ginisi to its executive leadership staff in the position of Chief Marketing Officer.

In this position, Mr. Ginisi will oversee the organization’s awareness across all digital platforms, help provide impactful and innovative messaging and increase outreach to the 21 communities in North Central Massachusetts that the agency serves.

“We are excited to welcome David to our leadership team,” said Lori Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of Montachusett Home Care Corporation. “David will be a tremendous asset to our agency with his drive for community engagement and his extensive proven marketing and outreach experience.  Dave is vital in ensuring that our community knows our mission is to provide comprehensive information and quality services so that older people, individuals with disabilities and their families are empowered to make personalized choices to ensure a life of dignity, safety and respect.”

David joins Montachusett Home Care from the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and its affiliates: Visit North Central Massachusetts and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, where he worked as the Marketing and Communications Manager for several years. He played a pivotal role in helping advance the North Central Massachusetts economy by developing many key marketing campaigns and initiatives while working hand-in-hand with business and community leaders across the entire region. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications Media from Fitchburg State University, class of 2016. He is also a graduate of the Community Leadership Institute class of 2020. David is a resident of Fitchburg and is extremely active in his community, including serving on the Board of Directors for Fitchburg Access Television, the Advisory Board for Fitchburg State University’s Center for Italian Culture, and several committees including: The Young Professionals of North Central Massachusetts and Fitchburg Civic Days.

Montachusett Home Care Corporation (MHCC) is a non-profit agency incorporated in 1974 that is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors from the community it serves.  MHCC serves Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Princeton, Shirley, Sterling, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster and Winchendon.

MHCC’s trained professional staff of nurses and case managers, work one-on-one with older adults (60+) and adults of all ages living with disabilities to connect them to services such as homemaking, personal care, home delivered meals, chore services, adult day health, caregiver support or information on public benefits and information of community-based services. Assessments, care management, service coordination and services delivered are all based upon quality assurance protocols and regulatory compliance standards.   Many of the services are free or low-cost, depending upon income.

Business or community members interested in learning more about MHCC’s dynamic line of work should contact David at (978) 466-1571 or via email at DGinisi@mhcc-1.org.