The Bruce and Patricia Herring Technology Center inside the soon-to-open Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn received funding from Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals to install internet access and computer equipment to support programs focused on health equity in the region.

LYNN, MASS. (March 25, 2021) – The YMCA of Metro North is pleased to announce that its newly named Bruce and Patricia Herring Technology Center inside the soon-to-open Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn received a $25,000 grant from Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals to purchase computer equipment and install internet access. The funding, through the hospitals’ 2021 Community Benefits Grant Program, is aimed at increasing users’ ability to manage their health, reduce social isolation, and encourage the development of programs that support health equity in the region.

“As a hospital that serves many patients from Lynn and the surrounding areas, our number one priority is providing vital health care services to the community,” said Phil Cormier, President of Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals. “The Demakes Family YMCA also plays an essential role in taking care of the community by providing quality social, recreational, and educational experiences for its members. We are fortunate to have such a terrific resource that invests in the city and provides things like access to technology through the Bruce and Patricia Herring Technology Center that will help improve the quality of the lives of its residents.”

The YMCA will work with other partners to provide technical support and training to users in need of computer literacy skills. The Herring Technology Center will feature dedicated senior-only hours and provide bilingual equipment and materials to users. Users can also reserve private rooms for telehealth sessions, therapeutic visits, or job interviews.

“This generous funding will help us stay responsive to emerging needs in our community,” says Andrea Baez, Senior Branch Executive of the Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn. “The lack of access to computers and technology is as a key challenge in our area driving more health inequities and creating barriers for people to access health, employment, benefits, and other services that have shifted online during the pandemic.”

Data from Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals’ community needs assessment and other studies by groups like the Essex County Community Foundation identify technology access as a priority funding area. Reports indicate that one in five households in Essex County lacks basic computer equipment. The YMCA’s Herring Technology Center will target households in need of computers and other support through outreach efforts with local, community-based organizations and provide space and equipment for groups to conduct training and information sessions.

Sessions on topics like enrollment in health insurance, Medicare, WIC, SNAP programs, college application assistance, resume building, nutrition education, chronic disease management, financial education, and other classes will be part of the YMCAs initial planning.

The Lynn YMCA also recently received a grant from Attorney General Maura Healey’s office to provide video-enabled devices that assist tenants in accessing virtual eviction hearings.

“When the new Demakes Family YMCA opens to the public on May 10, partners like Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals will help us continue to provide impactful services that create healthier and more equitable outcomes for the people in our region,” says Kathleen Walsh, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metro North.

The Demakes Family YMCA in Lynn will celebrate its Grand Opening on May 7 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will open fully to the public on Monday, May 10. Learn more about the Demakes Family YMCA opening.