Massachusetts Hospital School Foundation

Challenge

The Massachusetts Hospital School (MHS), located in Canton, is a unique facility that specializes in providing 24-hour care, schooling, and recreational opportunities for children between the ages of 6 and 22 who have severe neuromuscular or other physically debilitating medical conditions.

The Department of Public Health is responsible for overseeing all operations on the MHS campus with funding shared by the state, which provides for all infrastructure, teachers, and doctors, and by the MHS Foundation, which funds all recreational activities.

While the Hospital School is one of the only facilities of its kind in Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health has recently sought to shut it down due to the high costs of maintaining the campus by slowly reducing the number of available beds at the facility. As a result, during negotiations in the Massachusetts Legislature regarding the Fiscal Year 2011 budget, the MHS Foundation sought to ensure that funding for the organization was extended and that the facility remained open.

Solution

In an effort to ensure that the Legislature would continue to fund the MHS in its FY2011 budget, O’Neill and Associates embarked on a state government relations campaign designed to reach out to various members of the State Legislature and their staffs. This effort informed policymakers of the unique and vital services that the MHS provides to residents of the state whose physical disabilities make it highly difficult, if not impossible, to obtain schooling and comparable opportunities elsewhere. In doing so, O’Neill and Associates hoped to foster support for a budgetary measure that would extend state funding for the MHS for the FY2011.

Results

Through its state government relations services, O’Neill and Associates was able to facilitate the insertion of language into the Legislature’s FY2011 budget that called for the number of beds offered at the MHS to be increased. This measure effectively acted to extend state funding for the services offered at the MHS campus and mandated that the facility remain in operation.

 

 

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