Honors for South Cove
South Cove Community Health Center has been recognized with a Boston Mayoral Prize for Innovations in Primary Care for its efforts to improve the delivery of primary care services in healthcare, community-based, and workplace settings
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino was joined by Dr. Paula Johnson, chair of the board of the Boston Public Health Commission, to three recipients in a ceremony at the Boston Public Library. Also recognized were: Health Care Without Harm and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center.
"Some of Boston's greatest assets are our world-renowned health care institutions. Part of being a leader means highlighting the great work that goes on in our city as a model for others to see," Menino said.
I'm constantly impressed by the innovative work that organizations of all sizes are able to accomplish, and this year's winners champion that spirit of ingenuity. These awards strive to show that prevention is primary care, whether it's in the doctor's office, the workplace, or the community."
South Cove, the premier Asian community health center of Massachusetts, provides services and programming for over 26,000 clients in greater Boston. It was cited for its work to develop culturally sensitive mental health screening tools for Asian American patients.
Understanding that Asian Americans experience similar rates of depression compared to other groups but face greater barriers to receiving treatment due to language differences, cultural stigma, and lack of resources, clinicians at South Cove set out to tackle this health inequity by improving upon their standard primary care delivery system.
Over the course of a decade, the health center developed a pioneering framework that involves systematic depression screening, psychiatric assessment, and care management with a focus on the patient's unique cultural beliefs and mental health situation. In the years since the system was first implemented, South Cove has seen a sevenfold increase in its Asian-American patients.
"The health center's Primary Care Integration Program employs systematic depression screening, active out-reach to depressed patients, and a culturally sensitive interviewing approach. The program has been shown to improve recognition and treatment of depression among minority patients," said Dr. Albert Yeung, who oversees the program.
Eugene Welch, Executive Director of South Cove, expressed his sincere gratitude for the award, saying "South Cove is honored and humbled to receive this recognition for being true to our mission of serving the underserved Asian community with linguistically and culturally competent staff for the last 40 years of. We thank Mayor Menino and the City of Boston for recognizing innovative work in primary care delivery."
South Cove is one of seven members of the Community Care Alliance, an organization representing Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's network of seven affiliated community health centers.