1353 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA

Project Details:

The project involved the expansion of an existing Federally Qualified Health Care facility (FQHC) located in Dorchester, MA known as Dorchester House Multi-Service Center (the “Center”) in a highly distressed census tract. The Center was increasingly inadequate to accommodate the level of demand it was experiencing and the 14,500 sq ft of new space and the renovation of 26,600 sq ft of existing space allowed it to better serve the health needs of the community. The administrative offices and physical therapy department were moved into the new expansion, allowing for the renovation of the vacated space into primary care, walk-in urgent care services and expanded space for pharmacy and laboratory testing. This expansion included 18 new exam rooms and a waiting/administrative area.

The Center served over 20,000 patients in the community with over 105,000 patient visits annually. The improvements expanded the Center’s ability to serve additional low-income residents in the service area by accommodating 6,600 new patients and an additional 26,000 patient visits annually. The expanded outpatient and urgent care facilities increased the number of patients the FQHC is able to see by an estimated 33% while increasing the number of patient visits by 25%.

The Center estimates that 36% of its client base lives below 200% of the federal poverty line and that 80% of its patients are Medically Indigent, (uninsured or on Medicaid-insured patients). In addition, statistics reflect that roughly 95% of the Center’s client base having cultural, linguistic and/or economic barriers to accessing healthcare.

Distress Criteria:

  • 2.11x nat. unemployment rate
  • NMTC Qualified Census Tract
  • Serves over 50% Low-Income Persons

Community Impacts:

  • 230 sustained jobs
  • 28 created jobs
  • 55 construction jobs
  • 95.5 jobs accessible to LIPs
  • 168 jobs accessible to LICs
  • 21,280 LIPs served annually

Project Community Alignment:
The project was an expansion of a health care facility which is a cornerstone of the community. The community outreach activities included several meetings with each of the neighborhood associations, the business association, and even the City of Boston’s Redevelopment Administration. Outcomes of these meetings included minimizing the impact of the new addition on the residential street on which it faces, and coordinating communications around construction activities so that there was as little interference with the lives of neighbors as possible. Each community group enthusiastically approved the plans, and provided letters of support needed for a minor city zoning variance.