Category Archives: Community Press Releases

Foxborough and Berlin/Hudson area receives 20,000 masks for area hospitals and first responders

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating one million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis across the United States.

Hospitals and first responders in the Foxborough/Berlin/Hudson area, listed below, received 20,000 masks this week.

The nationwide donation comes as supplies for personal protective equipment are in high demand and short supply in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the influx of patients at U.S. hospitals and medical centers being treated for the virus, critical supplies like face masks have been rapidly depleted, leaving healthcare workers in a vulnerable state as they race to save lives and protect communities.

Pan-Mass Challenge Reimagines 2020 Ride

Nation’s Most Successful Bike-A-Thon Rallies Cancer Community in its Unwavering Commitment to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), a bike-a-thon that raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the country, is adapting its 2020 ride to maintain its commitment to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber) while prioritizing the health and safety of its riders and volunteers. The organization’s traditional ride, which typically includes 12 routes spanning 25 to 192 miles over the first weekend of every August, will be transformed into an interactive experience on August 1, 2020. The “Reimagined PMC” will bring together thousands of riders, volunteers, donors and supporters from their hometowns around the globe to celebrate the spirit of PMC weekend while making an unparalleled impact on the fight against cancer.

As Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, accounting for 57% of its Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue, the organization remains committed to raising critical funding for lifesaving cancer research, treatment and patient care and maintaining its 100% pass-through rate for rider-raised dollars this year. The PMC, widely regarded as a pioneer in athletic fundraising, is now trailblazing during these unprecedented times with a reimagined event that will evoke the sense of camaraderie and community synonymous with PMC Ride Weekend. In partnership with its presenting sponsor, the Red Sox Foundation, and its media partners, CBS Boston (WBZ-TV) and WROR, PMC 2020 Reimagined will come to life with pre-taped, as well as real-time, content.

“Coming together the first weekend of every August is a beloved tradition for thousands of PMC participants. While we’re unable to move forward with our ride safely in the same way we have over the past 40 years, we cannot and will not let our community or Dana-Farber down,” said Billy Starr, PMC Founder and Executive Director. “Our mission to support Dana-Farber in the fight against cancer is more important than ever. And in reimagining what our event can be, we hope to inspire even more participation from those joining us at home.”

PMC 2020 Reimagined will include many of the beloved activities that riders, volunteers, donors and spectators partake in during a traditional PMC Ride Weekend – complete with fun twists and unique virtual adaptations that make it easy to participate from home or their neighborhood, including:

·        PMC 2020 Reimagined Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 31

·        An official “starting line” to symbolize the commencement of the 2020 PMC on Saturday, Aug. 1

·        The PMC Pedal Partner Tent, in partnership with Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic

·        Entertainment and celebration at Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s quad

·        A global “Living Proof” toast to honor those that are currently undergoing, or have undergone, cancer treatment

“We are incredibly grateful for the PMC’s unwavering dedication to Dana-Farber. Their creative thinking in rallying their community around an event that provides essential funding for our institution and patients is a shining example of agility and commitment. Cancer doesn’t stop even during these difficult days. PMC dollars are critical to support the world-class cancer care and additional resources we provide our patients and their families, and we are especially thankful for this seed gift and the ongoing support,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dana-Farber.

PMC 2020 Reimagined will build upon the organization’s impressive efforts to support Dana-Farber as the institute navigates the implications of the coronavirus pandemic. Today, the PMC released $4 million of funds raised thus far this year to act as seed funding for Dana-Farber’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which supports patients currently receiving care. In 2019, the PMC donated $63 million to Dana-Farber, the largest financial gift ever received by the institute, helping fund lifesaving cancer research, treatment and patient care efforts.

To commit to the cause or make a financial contribution, visit www.pmc.org or call (800) WE-CYCLE. Connect with #PMC2020 on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

About the Pan-Mass Challenge

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is a bike-a-thon that today raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the world. The 41stPMC will take place on August 1, 2020. The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event’s executive director, an annual cyclist and a fundraiser. The PMC has since raised $717 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. The event donates 100% of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause, generating 57% of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue as Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. The PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors, all of which are essential to the PMC’s goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. The PMC’s hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers. For more information on the Pan-Mass Challenge, visit www.pmc.org

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. It is ranked in the top 5 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals for both adult and pediatric cancer care. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. We provide the latest in cancer care for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world.  

PATRIOTS HALL LAUNCHES TEACHER LESSON PLANS AS PART OF EDUCATION INITIATIVE

The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon has now launched a series of standards-based lesson plans for teachers to potentially use while working with students virtually. The lessons were developed by Massachusetts teachers and focus on English/language arts, history, social studies, wellness, math and science. The lessons target students ranging from Grades 3 through 10.

“We would typically be hosting daily field trips at The Hall, and our education mission calls for us to provide relevant education enrichment programs,” said Bryan Morry, the executive director of the Patriots Hall of Fame. “When we opened the Patriots Hall of Fame, we worked with area teachers to develop lesson plans as part of our education program. So during this unusual period in our history, we have worked to meet our mission differently by providing teachers, students and families a menu of options to aid their distance-learning efforts.”

The lesson plans are part of the Patriots Hall of Fame’s efforts to assist at-home education taking place during the stay-at-home measures required by the Coronavirus health situation. Additionally, the Patriots Hall of Fame has several fun, educational at-home activities available for students and families.

All of the education initiatives can be accessed here: https://www.patriotshalloffame.com/hall-education-activities/.  Additionally, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Teacher Activity Guide is available on lesson plan page.

The Patriots Hall of Fame has actively added to its at-home education activities since schools were closed in mid-March, but launched the lesson plans today.

“We just felt like teachers might need more options to keep students engaged in learning from home,” Patriots Hall of Fame education coordinator Moriah Illsley said. “Our field trip education modules use football to augment the concepts teachers are using in their traditional classrooms. The lesson plans and at-home activities will hopefully fill that void while at-home learning is taking place.”

The lesson plans have been adapted for virtual learning. Additionally, the Patriots Hall of Fame has collaborated with the Patriots Foundation to expand its Read Between the Lines reading blitz while also launching a stay-at-home essay contest. All of the educational initiatives are part of the Patriots Together While Apart program.  More information on all Together While Apart initiatives can be found here: www.patriots.com/covid19

Register O’Donnell Reports Strong 1 st Quarter Real Estate Activity Despite COVID-19

Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported real estate sales and lending activity experienced solid growth in Norfolk County during the first quarter of 2020 (Jan-March).

This growth came despite all the issues encountered with the COVID-19 coronavirus which began to appear in early March.

Register O’Donnell noted, “During the 1 st quarter, real estate sales in Norfolk County, both residential and commercial, rose 9% year over year. There were 3,684 properties sold compared to 3,374 during the 1 st quarter 2019. This growth can be explained by many real estate sales being in the pipeline prior to COVID-19 impacting Massachusetts.
Individuals and businesses were also taking advantage of low interest rates to purchase property.”

The average sales price, again both residential and commercial, during the 1 st quarter was $794,546, an 8% increase from the 1 st quarter of 2019. Additionally, the total volume of residential and commercial sales for the quarter was $1.6 billion, a 17% increase year over year.

In Norfolk County, a dramatic increase was seen in the number of mortgages recorded during the quarter. A total of 7,768 were recorded during the 1 st quarter 2020 compared to 4,532 during the same time period in 2019. “A solid economy prior to COVID-19 and low interest rates were resulting in consumers not only looking to buy property, but also taking advantage of more favorable terms to refinance their existing mortgages,” noted O’Donnell. The number of Homesteads recorded during the 1 st quarter also increased by 9% compared to the 1 st quarter 2019. O’Donnell reiterated the advantages of having a Homestead recorded against a homeowners primary residence. “The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County homeowners to consider this important consumer protection tool.”

A note of concern during the quarter was the rise in foreclosure activity. “The number of foreclosure deeds recorded,” noted the Register, “was 43, a 19% increase from the 1 st quarter 2019. Also, there was a 63% increase in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process.”

The Register also noted, “While the federal government recently ordered foreclosure activity to cease for 60 days in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and many lending institutions have instituted mortgage relief efforts, I am extremely concerned that the current economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 incident will result in a significant spike in foreclosure activity as we move further into 2020. My office continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376, and NeighborWorks Southern Mass, 508-587-0950 to help anyone having issues paying their mortgages. These organizations have staff available to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400. Each of these programs is staffed by knowledgeable professionals. If anyone is facing a foreclosure, I recommend they avail themselves of one of these excellent programs.”

In conclusion Register O’Donnell stated, “While the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has prevented public access to the Registry building, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has remained open for the recording of land documents. We have been able to do this by utilizing electronic recording for our institutional users and also recording documents received via regular mail and a drop off box. While doing all we can to keep our employees safe by social distancing, instituting workshifts, utilizing alternate work sites and in some cases having employees work from home, we have been able to remain open to record land documents. By instituting these steps, the Registry of Deeds has done its part to keep the Norfolk County real estate market operational during these trying times. These efforts are a tribute to the professionalism shown by the Registry of Deeds employees and the cooperation and patience shown by our customers and the residents of Norfolk County. Clearly, this pandemic has caused massive economic upheaval. There is no question the impact to the real estate market will be significant in the 2 nd and 3 rd quarters. Our pledge at the Registry of Deeds is to do all we can to help the local real estate economy and serve the residents of Norfolk County.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at Facebook/com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and/or Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

DCU Center in Worcester to be Used as a Field Medical Station

BOSTON — In an effort to relieve pressure on the state’s health care system and provide additional medical capacity, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced that a field medical station with more than 200 beds is scheduled to be set up at the DCU Center in Worcester starting Wednesday.

In anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Commonwealth, through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, requested and received approval for the temporary field medical station, which will be used to treat lower acuity care needs.

“The DCU facility will be the first of three temporary field medical stations the Commonwealth is working to set up after requesting and receiving approval from the federal Strategic National Stockpile,” said Secretary Marylou Sudders who is leading the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Command Center. “The Commonwealth is actively identifying other sites and partners for the two other facilities.”

The field station, which can be configured to a maximum of 250-beds, is scheduled to arrive for set-up in Worcester on April 1, via three tractor trailers. The DCU Center temporary field medical center will be used to treat lower acuity patients who still need monitoring.

“It’s up to all of us to do our part to help minimize the effects of COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth. Worcester is uniquely positioned to have a facility in the DCU Center and the expertise of UMass to support a field medical station in the center of the state. The Baker Polito Administration has continually offered their support to many efforts underway in Worcester and we now stand at the ready to make all resources available in this time of crisis,” said Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr.

UMass Memorial Medical Center will manage the facility, which will be staffed by a partnership including the City of Worcester, UMass Memorial, and others. UMass Memorial will lead the day-to-day running of the facility with support by state and local partners upon set-up.

“The DCU Center already occupies a position of prominence here and its value to the region is about to increase exponentially,” said Eric Dickson, MD, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care. “Our 14,000 caregivers are proud to join forces with Mayor Joseph Petty and the City of Worcester on this state-coordinated effort to expand the capacity of Central Massachusetts’ health care organizations to care for critically ill patients in our area.”

Medical Stations, like the one being deployed to Worcester, are required to set up in facilities of at least 40,000 square feet to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and include beds, supplies, and a cache of medicine for basic care.

“Logistics for this field medical station will be coordinated between the City, UMass Memorial Health Care, and state and local agencies,” said MEMA Director Samantha Phillips.  “MEMA continues to support the logistical needs of the Commonwealth’s coordinated response to COVID-19 and the COVID Command Center.”