The Critical Role of Community Health: Bringing Necessary Services to Key Demographics


During this challenging time, it’s critical that we continue to serve the members of our community who depend on us every day, while also taking care to protect their safety and that of our staff. We feel a profound sense of responsibility to act swiftly in order to ensure that we can deliver on our mission throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Ellen LaPointe, Chief Executive Officer of Fenway Health.

Around the country, community-driven healthcare providers are facing this very problem: How can we keep our facilities open for those who regularly require our services, while appropriately responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

It’s a challenge that nonprofits Fenway Health and the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC) are facing head-on. Many patients depend on Fenway Health, which supports the LGBTQIA+ community and others in Boston, and NCAFCC, which supports uninsured or underinsured individuals in North Carolina, as a primary source of healthcare. In response to the pandemic, both Fenway Health and NCAFCC have had to quickly mobilize resources in order to ensure patients – both with and without COVID-19 – can safely get the treatment they need.

Dr. Amy Wilson of the Community Care Clinic of Rowan County in Salisbury, NC seeing a patient via telemedicine. Photo courtesy of NCAFCC.


“At the start of the outbreak, we needed to think quickly and creatively in order to provide healthcare to those in need in North Carolina. As a network of 87 clinic sites, you can imagine this took a calculated and coordinated effort of time, energy and resources – however, we couldn’t be prouder with the result,” said Randy Jordan, Chief Executive Officer of NCAFCC.


Nurse Andrea Johnson, gloved and gowned, at the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic in Huntersville, NC seeing a patient in person. Photo courtesy of NCAFCC.


Thanks to the support of  organizations like the Biogen Foundation, both Fenway Health and NCAFCC were able to greatly expand telehealth initiatives that allow their patients to schedule and conduct routine visits. In the fight against COVID-19, the Biogen Foundation is proud to support organizations like Fenway Health and NCAFCC, which are working on the frontlines to provide ongoing services to our neighbors – albeit virtually – with the ultimate goal of everyone having the healthcare they need.  

To support Fenway Health’s and NCAFCC’s COVID-19 relief efforts, visit here and here.