State Capitol Briefs — Friday, May 23, 2014


State House News Service —

State officials in June plan to release a request for proposals for $60 million in funding being made available to community hospitals in Massachusetts for innovation efforts. The Health Policy Commission on Thursday voted to approve $60 million for eligible hospitals under the second phase of its Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization and Transformation Investment Program, which is funded through an assessment on hospitals and insurers. According to the commission, the RFP will call for proposals aimed at maximizing appropriate hospital use, enhancing behavioral health care and improving hospital-wide processes to reduce waste and improve safety. The second phase of the program is also designed to incentivize regional partnerships, in part by encouraging joint hospital applications. Award recipients will likely be announced in the fall. The commission, citing a lack of information on community hospitals, also announced a study on the current state and future of community hospitals is targeted for release in early 2015. – M. Norton/SHNS

Attorneys practicing in Lowell and Cambridge were nominated Friday by Gov. Deval Patrick for Juvenile Court judgeships. Kerry Ahern, who has had a practice in Lowell since 2008 focused on juvenile and district court criminal and civil litigation, was nominated for a seat in the court’s Essex County division. Ahern was an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County from 1994 until 2008. She is slated to fill a vacancy that will be created by the retirement of Judge Michael Edgerton. At her law practice in Cambridge, Helen Brown Bryant has focused on representing indigent clients in civil juvenile and probate court cases. Before opening her practice in 1993, Bryant worked as a staff attorney in the Office of Bar Counsel and a supervising attorney at the Massachusetts Advocacy Center, which is now known as Massachusetts Advocates for Children. Judge Leslie Harris is retiring and Bryant, if confirmed by the Governor’s Council, would take her seat in the Suffolk County division of the court. – M. Norton/SHNS

Copyright 2014 State House News Service

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