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Company Notebook

Health New England Announces New Branding, Launches New Website

SPRINGFIELD — Health New England recently launched an all-new corporate brand, marked by a blue and gray logo and tagline, “Where you matter.” To coincide with the new brand launch, the company also released its new public website, healthnewengland.org. Health New England continues to offer health plans across three lines of business: commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid (its Be Healthy MassHealth plan). Although the company will begin using one logo to represent all lines of business going forward, the new branding will have no impact on the current plans or benefits available to members. “We have been meeting the health care needs of our communities for more than 30 years. And now, we’re renewing our commitment to our members and business partners through our all-new logo and brand promise,” said Steven Webster, director, marketing and digital strategy. “We have a new look, and our commitment to members and our communities is as strong as ever.” The new Health New England branding was developed after over a year of extensive research with brokers, employer groups, providers, and members, which revealed three key brand attributes: quality coverage, thoughtful service, and a human experience. Health New England’s new public website offers a contemporary design, updated content, and simplified navigation. Last fall, the company relaunched its member portal, my.healthnewengland.org, offering new tools and information to help members manage their healthcare. “It’s our goal to provide our members with a meaningful, simplified, and robust experience, working to help explain complex healthcare topics,” Webster said. Based in Springfield, Health New England is a nonprofit health plan serving members in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Baystate Health.

Montessori School of Northampton Launches Middle-school Program

NORTHAMPTON — Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) will open Northampton’s first independent middle school in September, aiming to take education well beyond the four walls of the classroom. “Our middle-schoolers will benefit from the unique materials, intensively trained teachers, and self-directed learning for which Montessori schools are known worldwide,” said Susan Swift, head of school. “But they will also work and learn at local farms, theaters, and businesses, and do service projects to benefit the local community.” To lead MSN’s middle-school program, the school has hired Corey Hadden, a Montessori-trained and experienced middle-school teacher. He is also an apprentice trainer on the staff of the Cincinnati Montessori Secondary Teacher Education Program and has many years of experience with Outward Bound as well as mindfulness training. His goal as middle-school teacher is to help students understand themselves as part of a community — and part of a bigger world. “Our out-in-the-community curriculum was designed with the specific developmental needs of adolescents in mind,” he said. “As any parent of a 12-year old will tell you, these kids are in transition, changing from children to teenagers. Their bodies, their minds, their self-image are all in flux. The experience of doing meaningful work alongside adults and one another will help build a sense of self, with purpose, responsibility, and a love for learning that will help them succeed as they enter high school and beyond.”

Columbia Gas Supports Revitalize CDC Event

SPRINGFIELD — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has awarded Revitalize CDC a donation of $5,000 in support of the 2016 Green-N-Fit event scheduled for Saturday, April 23. “We are so appreciative of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts’ ongoing support, now for the fifth consecutive year. Thanks to Columbia Gas, we are able to make the homes of low-income elderly and military veterans in need safe, healthy, and energy-efficient,” said Revitalize CDC President and CEO Colleen Loveless. Nearly 100 skilled and dedicated volunteer employees from Columbia Gas have tackled several projects over the past five years. Projects have included interior and exterior painting, upgrading a daycare outdoor play space, repairing bathroom and kitchen plumbing, planting a garden, and pitching in wherever there is a need. “Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is committed to working with nonprofit organizations such as Revitalize CDC where their mission to revitalize homes, neighborhoods, and lives through preservation, education, and community involvement aligns with ours to help create strong and sustainable communities where our employees and customers live and work,” said Andrea Luppi, the utility’s manager of Communications and Community Relations.

Berkshire Bank Donates $2.3 Million to Nonprofits

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced that its two charitable foundations awarded a total of $1,810,229 in grants to nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont during 2015. The grants supported education and community-development initiatives as well as health and human services and cultural programs. In addition, Berkshire Bank provided approximately $500,000 in community sponsorships, raising its total contributions in the community to more than $2.3 million. “Our philanthropic investments impacted more than 8 million individuals in 2015, helping to enhance economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for members of our community,” said Lori Gazzillo, vice president and director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. “Thanks in large part to the work of our nonprofit partners, individuals improved their reading, writing, and math; graduated from high school; attended college; and visited local cultural organizations. Our partners also created affordable housing, revitalized downtown centers, and helped individuals gain employment. We are so pleased to continue our support of so many community initiatives throughout our footprint.”

Country Bank Makes Donation to Abby’s House

WARE — Country Bank recently Abby’s House with a check for $3,050. This donation was made possible through the Country Bank Employee Charitable Giving Program’s casual Fridays. Each week Country Bank staff are able to wear jeans in exchange for a $5 donation to the charity of the month. The total funds collected are then matched by Country Bank. The organizations chosen for this honor are suggestions submitted by the staff at Country Bank. Country Bank serves Central and Western Mass. with 14 offices. For more information, visit www.countrybank.com or call (800) 322-8233.

Pride Stores Donates $25,000 to CHD’s MaryAnne’s Kids Fund

SPRINGFIELD — Pride Stores recently donated $25,000 to the Center for Human Development’s (CHD) MaryAnne’s Kids Fund, which was established to provide opportunities for children in foster care that would otherwise be unavailable to them. This donation will help continue to provide these children the means to pursue special interests in music, dance, art, sports, summer camps, and extracurricular education, and an overall positive influence that will remain with them throughout their lives. “Pride does so much for MaryAnne’s Kids, helping foster children have opportunities that would not otherwise be available to them,” said Jim Williams, CHD’s Children and Families Program director. “We are grateful to have such a great partner in the community.” Every year, Pride Stores sells $1 ornaments in each of its 30 locations during the holidays to support MaryAnne’s Kids. “We are grateful to all the Pride customers who support this important fund-raiser.” said Marsha Del Monte, president of Pride Stores.

Monson Savings to Offer Free Tax Preparation Through VITA Program

MONSON — The Ware branch of Monson Savings Bank is participating in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which offers free tax preparation for those who qualify for this service. Monson Savings Bank volunteers will help people prepare their federal and Massachusetts state taxes starting every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Those interested must call (413) 263-6500 to find out if they qualify and to make an appointment. The program is sponsored and funded by Springfield Partners for Community Action and United Way of Pioneer Valley.

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