HARWICH — Outer Cape Health Services, Inc. has received a $1 million pledge gift from Tom and Trish Kennedy to assist with developing new healthcare facilities in Harwich Port and Wellfleet. The gift is the largest private donation in OCHS history, which dates back to 1987.
The gift is being made through OCHS's capital campaign program, Enhancing Spaces, Impacting Lives. The campaign will support the opening of a new healthcare center in Harwich Port and the rebuilding of a 50-year old facility in Wellfleet. Honorary chairs of the capital campaign are Thomas P. O'Neill and John Our of Harwich and David B.Willard and Irene Daitch of Wellfleet.
The Kennedys are the former owners of BackOffice Associates, Inc. who currently operate software company Zudy out of the former BackOffice Associates building on Route 28 in South Harwich. The Kennedys are residents of Brewster.
“The Lower and Outer Cape towns have an urgent need for modern, community-based, full-service healthcare facilities, Medical Home Centers for all residents, regardless of ability to pay,” Trish Kennedy said in a press release. “Healthcare has become a political punching bag, while everyone in our community suffers from lack of adequate services. We are proud to support this valiant effort of Outer Cape Health to finally make the Harwich Port facility available to all who call these towns home.”
“Tom and Trish Kennedy have been wonderful stewards of the community in pledging this generous major gift. They believe in our work in helping to provide quality and reliable access to healthcare for all in need on the Lower and Outer Cape,” added Patricia Nadle, CEO of OCHS. “We could not be more appreciative for their vision and leadership.”
The Kennedys own the Harwich Port structure OCHS is presently redeveloping across from Saquatucket Harbor, and OCHS has a 30-year lease arrangement for the new health center. The pledge will be made in installments. The gift will include a naming opportunity at the new Harwich Port health center.
Previously OCHS received a $1 million federal grant for the Harwich Port project from the Health Resources and Service Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last month OCHS received a $500,000 loan from MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, and a $3.9 million loan from Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod for renovations to the 29,487-square-foot structure.
The new facilities in Harwich Port will replace a much smaller OCHS medical office on Chatham Road with a healthcare center with 18 exam rooms. OCHS operates health centers in Harwich, Wellfleet and Provincetown, offering primary care, specialty and urgent care, behavioral health and dental services. In 2017 OCHS served nearly 17,000 residents and visitors with more than 70,000 patient visits.
The medical center in Harwich Port is expected to open by the end of this year.