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The original item was published from 12/8/2015 8:26:24 AM to 12/8/2015 9:49:58 AM.

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Posted on: December 8, 2015



AMHERST – The Hilltown Community Health Center (HCHC) announces that its planned Amherst satellite will be named for the late Amherst Town Manager, John P. Musante.

The John P. Musante Health Center will fill a gap in health services by providing coordinated primary medical, dental, and behavioral care to residents of central Hampshire County, regardless of their ability to pay. It will be located on the lower level of the Town of Amherst’s downtown Bangs Community Center.

John Musante died unexpectedly in September at age 53.

HCHC’s Executive Director, Eliza Lake, said “On behalf of the Board of HCHC, I can unequivocally say that we are honored to have John’s memory formally affiliated with the planned Health Center. For two decades members of the community and local service organizations have worked to address this need and John was instrumental in bringing these plans to fruition. Though we deeply wish he could see it in operation - caring for the children, adults and seniors of this community - we are delighted that the Health Center will forever memorialize his commitment. We are moved that his family has so graciously agreed.”

Marlene Musante, John’s wife said, “John loved this community, and he embraced the responsibility that local government has to serve its people. This project, that he was so passionate about, is a perfect reflection of that. While his spirit infuses countless initiatives that will have enduring impacts on our community, it is a special honor that this place will bear his name. It means so much to our children, Matthew and Rachel, to me, and to the rest of our family, that so many lives will be made better thanks to the care provided by the John P. Musante Health Center.”

Interim Town Manager David Ziomek said “The Town of Amherst is pleased to continue the strong partnership that John started with the Hilltown Community Health Center, and grateful to the Musante family for the opportunity to attach John’s name to such an important community service.”

Stephanie O’Keeffe will head up the capital campaign, which has a fundraising goal of $2.1 million. The Campaign for the John P. Musante Health Center will solicit donations from throughout the community for the renovation and equipping of the Health Center. To date the campaign has raised over $1.3 million, including $1 million from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

O’Keeffe worked closely with Musante in Amherst’s town government. She chaired the Select Board that appointed him as Town Manager. In addition to her Select Board service, O'Keeffe is a past president of the Amherst Survival Center Board of Directors and a long-time member of the Amherst Friends for the Homeless, which organized the annual Shelter Sunday event in Amherst. She also delivered Meals-on- Wheels to home-bound seniors for eight years.

“It is a tremendous honor to help carry forward John’s vision for the Health Center and make it a
reality,” O’Keeffe said. “Addressing struggles that too many of our neighbors in Amherst and
surrounding communities face every day was a hallmark of John’s leadership. He knew that increasing access to health care would make a big difference in people’s lives, and he championed that.”

For 65 years, the mission of Hilltown Community Health Center (HCHC) has been to make accessible, affordable services available to and promote the health of the residents of western Hampshire and Hampden Counties. As a federally qualified community health center, HCHC serves all patients needing services, regardless of their ability to pay. It currently offers a wide range of services at four sites including the Worthington Health Center, Huntington Health Center, Hilltown Community Center, and the Gateway School-Based Health Center. In addition to medical and dental services, HCHC provides behavioral/mental health services, substance abuse treatment, eye care, and numerous community services and supports. It also has physical therapy and laboratory services available at its main sites.

For more information please contact Eliza Lake at 413-238-4128 or

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