Our Mission

Improve the health and well-being of diverse populations in Mattapan and surrounding communities by providing exceptional comprehensive integrated health services.

Hours of Operation

Mon - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday

Call the Health Center for more information at 617.296.0061

Building Healthier Communities Since 1972

Mattapan Community Heath Center Reduces Barriers to Cancer Screening

Established in 1972, Mattapan Community Health Center (MCHC) is a private, not-for-profit, federally qualified health center providing health care to approximately 9,000 patients in Mattapan and the greater Boston area. MCHC serves the most vulnerable population. Ninety eight percent of patients are from racial or ethnic minority groups, 97% have income within 200% of the federal poverty level, 69% are uninsured or recipients of MassHealth or Medicaid, and 34% are best served in a language other than English. Colorectal cancer occurs at a higher rate in the African American community and African Americans are 20% more likely to get the disease and 40% more likely to die from it than any other racial or ethnic group (American Cancer Society, 2020; https://www.cancer.org/cancer/latest-news/colorectal-cancer-rates-higher-in-african-americans-rising-in-younger-people.html). One of the most effective ways to improve outcomes is early detection through preventive screening, yet racial and social inequities often mean that underserved populations have insufficient access to potentially lifesaving tests. During the past two years, MCHC established a preventive care project aimed at raising awareness, enhancing accessibility, and providing support to increase the colorectal cancer screening rates among our patients. The limited availability of colonoscopy appointments for preventive screening remains a challenge. MCHC was the first of neighboring health centers to offer the Cologuard® at-home colon cancer screening test as a preventive screening option, regardless of insurance coverage. MCHC trained population health coordinators and clinical support staff to assist primary care providers with patient outreach and education, ordering and processing of screening tests, and communicating results with appropriate follow-up. 601 colorectal cancer screenings were completed in 2023, including 444 Cologuard® tests. Out of those screenings, approximately 100 patients were referred for further diagnostic testing or follow-up with a specialist. Currently 64% of MCHC patients 45-75 years of age have an appropriate screening for colorectal cancer, representing a 7-percentage point improvement since 2022. MCHC recently received a 2024 community grant from the Colon Cancer Coalition to raise awareness and reduce barriers to complete colorectal cancer screening in our community. This grant will fund patient educational aids in multiple languages, assistance for uninsured or underinsured patients experiencing socioeconomic hardships, and colorectal cancer awareness activities at MCHC’s annual Care in the Square health fair in September 2024.