Some sad news to report out of Dartmouth.  The Outpatient Program for Meeting Street has announced that they will be closing.  The program's last day will be on December 15, 2023.

Therapies have been provided to children across Greater New Bedford for decades, originally under the name of The Schwartz Center.  According to Meeting Street, The Schwartz Center began in 1947 when a parent, Agnes “Posa” Raposa, found that there were no local services available for her son who was born with cerebral palsy.

Raposa dedicated her life to helping children with disabilities and was the driving force behind the foundation of the Cerebral Palsy Council of Greater New Bedford.  The Council established the region’s first educational and treatment opportunities for children with cerebral palsy, and soon added therapies and a number of other programs.  In 1971 the Cerebral Palsy Clinic was renamed The Schwartz Center for Children in honor of Dr. Isaac H. Schwartz, the founding medical director of the Center, for dedicating nearly 25 years to children in the area.

Over the summer of 2014, the Providence based Meeting Street took over leadership of The Schwartz Center in Dartmouth.

Michael Rock/Townsquare Media
Michael Rock/Townsquare Media

Why is the Outpatient Program Closing in Dartmouth?

After 76 years, the outpatient program will be closing its doors.  Many people are wondering why?  What went wrong?  "The reality is that we have not had a rate increase in 9 years," said John M. Kelly, Meeting Street President.  "We can't pay our therapists and professionals a wage they deserve.  (These are wages they) can secure by working for other employers.  We simply can't compete."

Meeting Street will continue to serve children and families throughout Greater New Bedford through its Early Childhood Programs--including Early Intervention, Parents as Teachers, Regional Consultation Program, the Teen Parent Initiative, and Welcome Family--and the Schwartz School in Dartmouth.

Over the past 10 years, Fun 107 has partnered with Meeting Street, the Schwartz Center, and Sunrise Bakery and Coffee Shops to help raise money for the important program.

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