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Company Notebook

Mercy Joins HNE’s Medicare Advantage Provider Network
SPRINGFIELD — Health New England (HNE) recently announced that Mercy Medical Center has become a part of its Medicare Advantage provider network. Any HNE member, regardless of product, can now access the services available at Mercy Medical Center. The hospital and physicians of the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS), which Mercy is a part of, have been in HNE’s commercial and Mass Health product networks for several years, and HNE is the health-insurance provider for the employees of SPHS. “HNE is excited about the extension of our partnership with SPHS,” said Peter Straley, HNE president and CEO. “We know that one of the most important components of any health-insurance product is the network of hospitals and physicians available to the members. This addition to our Medicare Advantage provider network enables us to be a viable option for all Medicare beneficiaries in our region.” Daniel Moen, SPHS president and CEO, echoed those sentiments. “Mercy Medical Center welcomes this opportunity to further our relationship with HNE,” he said. “Mercy’s participation as a member of the HNE Medicare Advantage provider network ensures that Medicare beneficiaries in our region are able to access the high-quality, high-value care at Mercy, no matter which Medicare plan they choose for health care coverage.”

Hampden Bank Offers Second Chance Mortgage
SPRINGFIELD — Hampden Bank has announced the availability of a new mortgage product specifically designed for those whose credit has been adversely affected by the recession. Robert Michel, senior vice president of retail lending, noted that the Second Chance Mortgage is a viable solution for those deemed ‘not bankable’ during these difficult economic times but who are working conscientiously to rebuild their credit. “Whether it’s directly due to the recession, job loss, bankruptcy, reduction of income, or other life events, such as divorce or illness, we know there are many good, hardworking people out there who, for one reason or another, have taken a serious hit in recent times,” he said. “We also know that many of these same people have been working hard to re-establish their credit, and we feel they at least deserve a second look and perhaps a second chance.” Michel added that the Second Chance Mortgage “could be the solution to get them back into home ownership.” Specific underwriting criteria must be met, and qualification will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with previous strong credit history and current ability to repay being major considerations.

Monson Savings Bank Wins SBA Award
MONSON — The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced that Monson Savings Bank has won the Lender of the Quarter Award for the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. The award was given to the bank in recognition of its “excellent” SBA activity for the quarter, according to Steven Lowell, president of Monson Savings. The bank had six SBA loan approvals from April 1 through June 30, which ranked it in the ‘Top 15 SBA Lenders in the State’ category. Additionally, the bank tripled its overall SBA activity since 2010 with 18 loans through the first three quarters of the SBA fiscal year. “We are very pleased to be able to help so many customers by leveraging the SBA lending programs,” said Lowell. “I’m not surprised we are ahead of so many larger banks statewide in this arena, because we specialize in working with small and mid-sized businesses.”

Companies Partner to Provide Cobiax Product for Miami Art Museum
LUDLOW — Meredith-Springfield Associates Inc. recently announced its partnership with Barker Steel, LLC to provide high-tech materials for the new, $220 million Miami Art Museum (MAM). Meredith-Springfield is a plastic-extrusion blow-molding manufacturing and engineering company that manufactured thousands of spheres from recycled plastic which were set into steel wire cages for Barker Steel, the licensed distributor for the Cobiax voided concrete system, headquartered in Milford. The wire cages and spheres were shipped in tower-crane-ready bundles for use in concrete slabs in the construction of the MAM. With Cobiax building units, the building slabs are up to 35% lighter than solid flat concrete slabs, and present up to 15% less load on foundations, which allows increased freedom for structural conception. “This type of building system also allows for up to 20-meter spans with no obstructing beams, which amounts to 40% fewer columns,” said Mel O’Leary, president and CEO of Meredith-Springfield. “By using spherical-resin products, strategically encased in concrete with reinforcing steel, one can leave out as much concrete as possible while maintaining the full flexural strength of the slab and allowing a biaxial load transfer. The result is overall weight reduction, increased seismic performance, cost reduction, and environmental sustainability.” The MAM design involves large spans of floor and ceiling without the typical number of columns so that the view from sea to land or vice versa is not completely obstructed. The museum building itself, totaling 120,000 square feet at the core, includes a wide stair connecting the platform to the sea and a promenade. The hanging gardens from ceiling to floor are not interrupted by numerous columns, and the building becomes part of the shoreline and helps visitors gradually transition from Miami’s tropical climate to the museum’s more regulated interior.

Study Rates MassMutual #1in Satisfaction
SPRINGFIELD — In Boston Research Group’s 2011 Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) Retirement Advisor Satisfaction and Loyalty Study, MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division earned the number-one overall satisfaction rating from retirement-plan advisors among all 17 record keepers in the study. MassMutual scored 13 points higher than its nearest competitor and 28 points above the industry average overall. MassMutual placed in the top quartile in every category ranking and garnered the most number-one ratings among all record keepers in the study, clinching the top rating in each of the following: overall satisfaction, wholesaler accessibility/availability, wholesaler expertise in the retirement services industry, thought leader in the 401(k) industry, partners with you (advisor) for success, marketing assistance (proposals, presentations, seminars), internal wholesaler ability to resolve problems, and making it easy to do business with them. The nationwide survey of retirement advisors was conducted from February to April 2011, and the results of the recordkeeping portion represent 17 leading defined-contribution retirement-plan providers. Findings are based on the percentage of advisors who were ‘very satisfied’ with the record keeper.

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