Company Notebook

Company Notebook

Point32Health to Acquire Health New England

SPRINGFIELD — Point32Health, the not-for-profit parent company of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, announced it has signed a definitive agreement with Baystate Health to acquire its subsidiary, Health New England. Health New England, a not-for-profit health plan in Springfield, offers a range of plans in the commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare markets and serves approximately 180,000 members concentrated in Western Mass. Canton-based Point32Health offers employer-sponsored plans, Medicare and Medicaid plans, plans on the state exchange, and plans for those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. It serves 1.9 million members in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The acquisition is expected to improve product offerings and expand access to a broader network with wider geographic reach. Among both organizations’ shared priorities is expanding high-quality programs and services, particularly those that cover underserved populations and seniors, as well as maximizing the benefits that not-for-profit health plans provide to communities. Point32Health aims to harness the strengths of both organizations and bring value to Health New England members and the broader community by providing greater value to consumers by combining complementary strengths, administrative efficiencies, and a broader product offering; expanding access to care for underserved populations and preserving not-for-profit options through extensive experience in serving these populations; and advancing the quality of healthcare members receive through a commitment to addressing behavioral health, health equity, and social determinants of health. The agreement, which was unanimously approved by the board of directors of Point32Health and the board of trustees of Baystate Health, is subject to regulatory approvals.


UMass Amherst to Create Center Focused on Offshore Wind

AMHERST — UMass Amherst has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish and lead the Academic Center for Reliability and Resilience of Offshore Wind (ARROW), a new, multi-million-dollar national center of excellence to accelerate reliable and equitable offshore wind-energy deployment across the nation and produce a well-educated domestic offshore wind workforce. Led by UMass Amherst with approximately 40 partners, ARROW will receive $4.75 million over five years from the the DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and has also received a matching commitment of $4.75 million from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The state of Maryland, the second center of gravity of the proposal with participation from Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University, is contributing $1 million from the Maryland Energy Administration. Other universities are contributing $1.4 million for a total budget of $11.9 million. Sanjay Arwade, professor of Civil Engineering at UMass Amherst, is director of the new center, with faculty in the university’s Wind Energy Center serving as co-principal investigators and senior personnel of the research team. The center will be a university-led education, research, and outreach program for offshore wind that prioritizes energy equity and principles of workforce diversity, equity, inclusion, and access


MountainOne Insurance Acquires G.W. Morisi Insurance Agency

LONGMEADOW — MountainOne Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of MountainOne Bank, announced the acquisition of G.W. Morisi Insurance Agency Inc., a third-generation, family-owned agency that has served Longmeadow and neighboring communities for more than 75 years. The G.W. Morisi staff of four, including President Rory Sullivan, will remain with the agency at its 473 Longmeadow Street location. In time, additional staff will come on board to further support customers’ insurance needs. G.W. Morisi Insurance Agency will now offer customers many enhanced services, including the addition of group employee benefits, life insurance, long-term-care Insurance, Medicare products, and in-house claims services. Customers also have access to many new insurance carriers, widening their options for coverage at competitive rates. MountainOne Insurance is born from the combination of several small, family-owned agencies that have served Berkshire communities for generations. The acquisition of the G.W. Morisi marks MountainOne’s first physical office outside of Berkshire County, expanding its footprint into Longmeadow and neighboring communities.


Westfield Bank Donates $12,500 to Shriners Children’s New England

WESTFIELD — Westfield Bank is pleased to announce a $12,500 donation to Shriners Children’s New England in partnership with the Elan Credit Card Charitable Giving Program. Shriners Children’s is dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing high-quality pediatric specialty care for children up to age 18, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status. “We are proud to continue our support of this wonderful organization,” said James Hagan, president and CEO. “For close to 100 years, Shriners Children’s has done incredible work providing pediatric care, innovative research, and offering educational programs for medical professionals. Westfield Bank is proud to be a long-time partner with Shriners Children’s.”


Monson Savings Bank Announces $15,000 in Community Donations

MONSON — The people have voted, and the results are in. In late 2023, Monson Savings Bank asked community members to cast their votes for their favorite local nonprofits. The bank is now announcing the Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative recipients for 2024. This was the 14th year Monson Savings Bank has run its Community Giving Initiative poll. The public’s excitement to cast their vote has grown throughout the years. This year, nearly 7,000 votes were received. Now that the votes have been calculated, Monson Savings Bank is preparing to donate a total of $15,000 among the top 10 recipients, which include I Found Light Against All Odds (Springfield), Shriners Children’s New England (Springfield), Friends of Hampden Seniors (Hampden), Women’s Empowerment Scholarship (Greater Springfield), Whip City Animal Sanctuary (Westfield), Monson Free Library (Monson), Miracle League of Western Massachusetts (Springfield), Halfway Home Cat Rescue (Chicopee), Scantic Valley YMCA (Wilbraham), and ClubOh! (Springfield).


Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services Receives $50,000 Grant

SPRINGFIELD — Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLFKS) received a $50,000 grant from the MassMutual Foundation as part of MassMutual’s inaugural Economic Equity Grant program, a collaboration of the MassMutual Foundation with MassMutual’s employee business resource groups (BRGs), which serve as an integral component of the organization’s DEI strategy. MLKFS is one of eight organizations to receive a grant. MassMutual’s employee BRGs support initiatives that drive organizational results; increase employee engagement; and foster awareness, respect, and inclusion within the workplace. More than one-third of MassMutual’s employees participate in its eight BRGs, representing Black/African-American, Asian, and Hispanic/Latino/Latinx communities; members of the LGBTQ+ community; individuals with disabilities and their caregivers; members of the armed forces, veterans, and military family members; young professionals; and women.


Big Y Donates 1.5 Million Meals to Food Banks

SPRINGFIELD — Big Y’s annual Sack Hunger campaign provides funds for the four food banks within its two-state marketing area. In turn, these food banks support local soup kitchens, food pantries, senior food programs, day-care centers, and many others of the 2,100-member agencies that they help every day. Their goal is to maximize access to nutritious food and other resources that support food security for those at risk of hunger. The four regional food banks are the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Worcester County Food Bank, the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the Connecticut Foodshare. For $5, customers supported Sack Hunger at Big Y’s supermarkets or Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors. Every $5 donation brings 10 meals to those in need of support. Additionally, Big Y has added even more ways to boost this year’s efforts, with specific proceeds from produce, floral, Smart Chicken, USDA choice angus beef, along with a portion of every one of Big Y’s family of brands. Big Y’s Sack Hunger campaign started in 2010, when 740 meals were donated. With this year’s 1.5 million meals, the program continues to grow in support of those in need. Big Y’s Sack Hunger donation is part of its ongoing support of food banks throughout the year, including almost daily donations of meat, fresh produce, and bakery, along with grocery, frozen food, and dairy items.


Eversource Submits Roadmap to Achieve Clean-energy Goals

SPRINGFIELD — With a focus on energy equity, environmental-justice communities, and transparency, Eversource submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) its final Electric Sector Modernization Plan (ESMP) to modernize the electric distribution system and help meet the Commonwealth’s decarbonization goals after incorporating feedback from the Grid Mod Advisory Council (GMAC) and dozens of stakeholders. The energy company’s ESMP is a comprehensive roadmap to transform the region’s power grid, enhance its resiliency, and strengthen reliability for customers by increasing renewable-energy production and electrifying the heating and transportation sectors. Focused on achieving both equity and clean-energy objectives, the ESMP also establishes a Community Engagement Stakeholder Advisory Group (CESAG) and expands efforts for proposed clean-energy infrastructure projects to engage all potentially impacted stakeholders. Eversource’s 10-year plan helps meet the Commonwealth’s decarbonization milestones through 2040 by achieving a 180% increase in electrification hosting capacity, which will provide additional capacity to enable 2.5 million electric vehicles statewide, 1 million residential heat pumps within the company’s territory, and an incremental 2.2 GW of additional solar hosting capacity, bringing the total distributed energy resource hosting capacity systemwide to 5.8 GW.


Berkshire Bank Foundation Reports on 2023 Philanthropy

BOSTON — Berkshire Bank announced that nearly $2.5 million in philanthropic investments were provided from its foundation in 2023 to support more than 500 nonprofit organizations. During the fourth quarter, more than $642,000 in grants and scholarships were awarded to foster upward economic mobility, support overall well-being, and enhance opportunities for individual success in the communities the bank serves. During 2023, more than 500 local nonprofits received grants to assist with a range of critical projects in the areas of health and wellness, housing, food insecurity, and economic enrichment. The Berkshire Bank Foundation is committed to supporting programs that work toward providing equitable opportunities for economic prosperity. In addition, it supports programs that align with Berkshire Bank’s Center for Women, Wellness, and Wealth.


MassDevelopment Issues Bond for MHA Headquarters Project

CHICOPEE — MassDevelopment has issued a $6,543,000 tax-exempt bond on behalf of Mental Health Assoc. Inc. (MHA), which will use the proceeds to buy and renovate a 78,378-square-foot building at 350 Memorial Dr. in Chicopee, where it will relocate its headquarters from Springfield and house its mental-health programs and residential and support services. The building originally housed the Charles River West Psychiatric Hospital and most recently served as the MassMutual Learning and Conference Center. The move will allow MHA to keep pace with growth and locate its staff in one office. Renovations to the building will include interior wall reconfiguration, office construction, HVAC and sprinkler-system updates, added reception-area security, and painting, flooring, and information systems improvements. Construction began in November and is expected to be complete by February 2024. MHA expects to create 45 full-time jobs and 20 part-time jobs over the next three years. Florence Bank purchased the tax-exempt bond, which helped MHA achieve a lower cost of capital. Founded in 1960, MHA provides access to therapies for emotional health and wellness; services for substance use recovery, developmental disabilities, and acquired brain injury; services for housing and residential programming; and more. MHA serves more than 3,000 people, from ages 5 to 90, each year.


Local Credit Unions Commit to Solar Financing

PIONEER VALLEY — As local leaders in renewable-energy financing, Franklin First Federal Credit Union and UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced unprecedented success in solar lending volume in 2023. Reflecting upon a record-setting year for both credit unions, during which UMassFive financed 1,272 installations totaling $50,923,810 and Franklin First financed 86 installations totaling $2,746,489, both organizations are reaffirming their dedication to facilitating sustainable futures through access to affordable financing options for solar-energy projects. Continuing a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and community development, both Franklin First and UMassFive have been at the forefront of financing both local and regional solar projects for more than eight years. Offering competitive rates with flexible terms, no loan-origination fees, and personalized service, these financial institutions have empowered individuals and businesses to embrace clean-energy solutions and reduce their carbon footprint. While solar energy continues to gain momentum nationwide, both Franklin First and UMassFive look to remain synonymous with accessible financing options for solar projects of all sizes. In addition to lending solutions, both credit unions are dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of renewable energy and promoting sustainable practices within their communities. Offering educational initiatives, outreach programs, and community partnerships, the credit unions are working to inspire adoption of clean-energy solutions and take meaningful steps toward a greener future, all while knowing their collective efforts have helped individuals and businesses save on energy costs and contributed to a cleaner, healthier planet.


Second Chance Residential Community Composting Program Comes to Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD — Second Chance Composting recently brought its residential community composting program to Pittsfield. Memberships are open and ongoing for the 9 South Atlantic Ave. dropoff location. The program runs continuously all year, through all four seasons. Memberships start at $9.99 per month, offering unlimited dropoff of household food scraps to the location each month. Members simply save their food scraps at home and, at their convenience, bring them to 9 South Atlantic Ave. and drop their material into the tote. Members can come as little or as often as needed each month. All food and food scraps are accepted, including meat, fish, dairy, bones, and shells. Other membership pricing options are available for those who wish to receive finished compost back. In addition to the new Pittsfield location, Second Chance Composting currently has dropoff locations in North Adams, Williamstown, and Adams, which have continuous and ongoing membership signups. Every week, Second Chance Composting picks up the material, which is brought to its MassDEP-certified facility in Cheshire to process the food scraps into compost, which is then distributed back to the community to grow more food, flowers, plants, and trees. Those interested in learning more or signing up for a membership can do so by visiting