WORCESTER, Mass. — There are a lot of new buildings popping up on Worcester’s Grove Street, but the one at No. 288 is hard to miss.
It’s the bright-blue building with all the gleaming windows. And, located on the first floor, is Fallon Health’s newest Summit ElderCare location for participants of its Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a joint Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people remain in their community instead of relocating to a nursing home or other care facility.
In mid-September, participants, their caregivers, and Summit staff were welcomed to the 15,500-square-foot building – Fallon’s largest PACE Center by more than 400 square feet -and are now taking advantage of all it has to offer.
“Previously, the space Summit occupied was always retrofitted for the program,” explained Kristine Bostek, vice president of Summit ElderCare for Fallon Health. “We’ve learned a lot about what our participants need in the nearly 25 years we’ve been providing these services and this was a great opportunity to build a facility specifically with them in mind.”
The improved design includes larger day rooms for meals and socializing, additional space for rehab, a larger library, five computer stations, a salon, and two quiet rooms for individuals who need alone time. The exterior also has heated sidewalks to help with safety in the winter, dedicated parking spaces to make the building more accessible, and increased patio space with shelter to protect from the weather.
Fallon serves more than 1,200 PACE participants and operates six PACE centers in Massachusetts. Grove Street is one of two Worcester locations and, while it’s their newest site, it’s also their oldest. The new building will replace the original PACE Center on East Mountain Street, which opened in 1995.
“While the needs of our participants and caregivers have evolved, our commitment to helping older adults continue living independently has not,” said Fallon Health President and CEO Richard Burke. “This new facility will allow us to address the medical and social needs of even more people in a way that supports their health and well-being.”
The building, standing three stories tall, also serves as a beacon of opportunity for the region which is undergoing a transformation. Over the past few months, the stretch of Grove Street where Summit now stands has seen new retail and office development including the 55,000-square-foot Trolley Yard project. Given the company’s roots in the city, it was important for Fallon to be part of that renewed energy, said Mr. Burke.
Partnering with local developer Tim Rassias of 288 Grove Street LLC, Fallon signed on to return the former manufacturing to a vital resource for the community – an undertaking noted by city leaders.
“The City of Worcester is proud to have Fallon Health as a partner,” said Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “This project shows Fallon’s investment in the city and its people. I applaud them for taking on such an important initiative and contributing to the area as it grows into a commercial hub.”
Fallon will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 18 to formally open the site. To book a tour of the new Grove Street PACE Center, please visit http://summiteldercare.org/about/visit.
Melissa Randall is Fallon Health’s corporate communications manager. She can be reached via email.