Baystate Health to build new, state-of-the-art community health center with landmark donation and support from MassMutual

Centrally located, comprehensive facility to improve access to quality healthcare for adult and pediatric patients in Greater Springfield region

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In an effort to improve health equity and meet the growing needs of the Springfield community, Baystate Health today announced a plan to build a comprehensive community health center in the heart of the city, made possible by the generous support of its longstanding partner, MassMutual.


MassMutual is donating approximately 10 acres of land valued at an estimated $5 million in the southeast corner of its Springfield campus, as well as providing financing and other support for the project. In addition, the MassMutual Foundation is donating $5 million over five years to support the new state-of-the-art health center that will be owned and operated by Baystate Health. The expected cost for the project is $45-$50 million in total.

The proposed ~90,000-square-foot community health center, which will be accessible at the intersection of Wilbraham Road and Alden Street, will centralize services, creating a medical neighborhood caring for children, families and adults and providing comprehensive primary care, integrated behavioral health and ancillary services for the Greater Springfield area. The new center will have greater access by public transportation, ample free parking and easy access from major thoroughfares.

Prior to conveyance to the Baystate Health Foundation, MassMutual will clear the site of the existing buildings, and the lot will be subdivided into its own parcel – separate from MassMutual’s headquarters. Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2025 and be completed in 2027.

“Thanks to the generous donations and substantial support provided by MassMutual and the MassMutual Foundation, Baystate Health’s vision to create a comprehensive, integrated community health and wellness center to serve the most vulnerable populations in Greater Springfield can advance towards realization,” said Baystate Health President and CEO Mark Keroack, MD.

In addition to MassMutual’s support, the project will also benefit from some expected state and federal grants. The land that will be donated to Baystate Health represents ~10% of MassMutual’s approximately 100-acre Springfield campus. The company’s move toward digitization and bringing its employees together in its iconic main office building on State Street has left a portion of its property underutilized, including two vacant buildings. Rather than leave this space unused, the company wanted to find a better, more long-term meaningful use for the land – one that would serve the community MassMutual has called home since 1851.

“Throughout our long histories in Springfield, both MassMutual and Baystate have had an enduring commitment to each other’s success as we’ve worked toward our own respective – yet similar – pursuits, helping people live better, more fulfilling lives,” said Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MassMutual. “We are incredibly proud that a portion of our property will serve a more meaningful purpose and a greater good, expanding access to high-quality medical care to improve the health and well-being of our community for generations to come.”

With the new community health center and wellness hub in place, Baystate Health will consolidate services from four of its existing Springfield health centers to the new building, where they will continue to provide services, plus more, for adult and pediatric patients at the new location. These centers will remain open and fully functional until their services can be transitioned to the new health center and Baystate Health is committed to engaging the community and local leaders during the planning phase of the project.

The centers and their services that will be transitioned to the future Wilbraham Road location include:

The Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center

Baystate High Street Health Center

Baystate High Street Pediatrics

Wesson Women’s Clinic

These existing community-based facilities are limited in size and scope with many infrastructure challenges that require significant upgrading and capital investment to allow for growth and expansion of services. The new center will provide Baystate Health with a state-of-the-art, modern facility to provide robust care for patients as well as attract top providers.

“We intend to co-locate four of our existing Springfield community health centers into a larger, modern facility to create this unified health care delivery wellness hub,” said Keroack. “Several convergent factors have informed our vision. The positive outcomes we have demonstrated in our Medicaid Accountable Care Organization, involving more than 50,000 of the region’s most under-served patients, have provided value to this population, improved health, and allowed us to begin to address health disparities and inequities. We could not do this without the generosity of MassMutual and the MassMutual Foundation.”

Combined, the four existing community health centers planned for the move currently serve 125,000 patient visits annually. In the envisioned community health center campus on the land to be donated by MassMutual, Baystate Health expects patient visits to increase to 145,000 annually by 2028.

“This is a terrific announcement for the Springfield community, one that will greatly benefit the Pioneer Valley for years to come. I would like to thank Dr. Keroack and Mr. Crandall for being great stewards of western Massachusetts, always exploring ways to invest in our communities,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “Baystate Health has long been committed to improving and expanding access to care throughout western Massachusetts. As Dr. Keroack nears the end of his tenure, I cannot think of a better way to celebrate his achievements than with the unveiling of yet another initiative that will deliver the best results for patients throughout our region.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “Two titans of their industries once again come together for the betterment of our Springfield community to continue to proactively facilitate good health outcomes, especially when dealing with mental health situations. My administration was proud to support this health initiative with nearly $1 million in ARPA funding. Again, my thanks to Chairman, President and CEO Roger Crandall of MassMutual for their continued philanthropic efforts, to Dr. Mark Keroack, President and CEO of Baystate Health for their continued health investment efforts, and thanks to Congressman Richard Neal for always being our advocate on the federal level.”

As two of the area’s largest organizations, MassMutual and Baystate Health have come together to support the Springfield community before. A few examples include:

Baystate Health’s integral role in the MassMutual Foundation’s work in the North End of Springfield focused on bringing together residents, service providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to identify and prioritize removal of barriers to community financial well-being for the neighborhood’s residents.

MassMutual and Baystate Health’s support of The Alliance for Digital Equity, a Western Massachusetts-based coalition of community-focused organizations working toward digital equity for all people.

MassMutual’s $3 million donation to help Baystate Health fund a ‘Hospital of the Future,’ an expansion that would provide more patients with life-saving care.

MassMutual’s donation of medical supplies to Baystate Health and redeployment of Springfield-based health professionals working in MassMutual’s Wellness Center to serve broader community needs in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MassMutual has been a supportive citizen and a longstanding corporate partner to many organizations in the community, including Baystate Health, since the company’s founding in 1851. This historic partnership is a continuing example of each organization’s commitment to serving the needs of the Greater Springfield area.

About Baystate Health

Baystate Health is a not-for-profit, integrated healthcare system serving more than 800,000 people throughout western New England. Baystate Health is the largest healthcare organization in western Massachusetts. With roots dating to the founding of Springfield Hospital in 1883, Baystate Health has been providing high-quality and compassionate healthcare in the Pioneer Valley for more than 140 years. Its mission is to improve the health of the people in its communities every day, with quality and compassion. With a focus on safety, value, and experience, Baystate is not only a keystone of the region, it is a national leader in healthcare. Visit www.baystatehealth.org

About MassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company)

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. Founded in 1851, the company has been continually guided by one consistent purpose: we help people secure their future and protect the ones they love. With a focus on delivering long-term value, MassMutual offers a wide range of protection, accumulation, wealth management and retirement products and services. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

About the MassMutual Foundation

The MassMutual Foundation, Inc. is a dedicated corporate foundation established by MassMutual. The MassMutual Foundation fuels initiatives that increase financial resilience within communities served by the company and fosters a culture of community engagement for MassMutual’s employees as well as affiliated financial professionals. In support of this mission, the Foundation invests in programs that help people access resources needed to earn, protect, and help build their financial capability and thrive. The Foundation also supports community vitality efforts where MassMutual operates. To learn more about the MassMutual Foundation, please visit www.massmutual.com/foundation.

Contacts

Media Contacts:
Baystate Health:
Lori Howley, Interim VP of Marketing and Communications
Baystate Health

413-794-7651

Lauralee.Howley@baystatehealth.org

MassMutual:
Laura Crisco, Head of Media Relations
413-887-1519

LCrisco@MassMutual.com