To Bristol, Thank You

We were delighted to see more than a year of work, time, energy, and commitments come to fruition last night. As we wrote in our Open Letter to the Bristol Community, after the December meeting, we heard the Council’s feedback, pursued alternatives, and compromised. We are pleased to meet at this fair, workable midway point. 

We will say once again that we are committed to the city for generations...we have an obligation to our patients and the community that will only grow, in every public school and at our health centers (soon to become one!). We are a vital part of Bristol every day, in the schools, on the streets, and, as usual, you will see us helping to anchor the Rockwell Park Summer Festival this summer, in the Mum Festival Parade next fall, and at many tables and meetings and events in between. The 3,500+ people we serve in Bristol remain our priority. We have all just spent two years watching a chasm in health care revealed by the pandemic, with no greater evidence than how we view mental health and overall wellness. Helping to bridge this chasm is our passion, mission, and work. It’s why we get up and walk in the doors each day. 

Our next step after last night’s vote is to complete the purchase and sale agreement and plan for a public groundbreaking at Centre Square. We will also begin the planning process of moving our corporate headquarters and over 160 professionals to Centre Square. With all of the information we have in front of us right now, pending the success of countless steps to come, we hope to open our doors in the spring of 2023.  

We have some thanks to give, and service to pledge. 

First, we thank the entire City Council for their collaboration, and we heartily thank Mayor Caggiano and Councilmember Panioto for their unwavering support throughout. Councilmember Panioto’s remarks during the December vote will stay with us for some time. To Councilmembers Howe, Lusitani, and Thibeault, we so appreciate you listening, learning, considering, and acting. Councilmembers Tyler and Olsen, we also thank you for your listening, learning, and consideration, and please know that our doors remain open to further dialogue at any time. We are all in this together, in this project and in life, no matter how a vote went.  

We obviously wish to extend our appreciation to the entire professional and volunteer Economic and Community Development team for their literal countless hours of work on our behalf...and the city’s. 

To our donors, who have made or pledged $280,000 in a silent phase of a $500,000 fundraising campaign toward our Bristol project, including our friends in Bristol who anchor that support, we are so grateful. We will build on this campaign for four more years, and we hope many more in the Bristol community will join us

Lastly, to the Bristol community at large, let us say this. It is one thing to read vigorous social media discussion of your merits and flaws. It is quite another thing to see a crowd of people gather in person to share their opinions about you, and when we watched each speaker approach the lectern last night, we were not quite sure what to expect. We saw friends of our work like Tom Barnes and State Representative Whit Betts there in support, and so many other people. YOUR support was moving and powerful, and as we have been for decades, we are so proud and humbled to serve you...your kids, your students, your neighbors, your families, and your community. We’ll see you around downtown in 2023. 

In closing, we know Centre Square will be the thriving success we all want it to be, and we’re happy to say we will be part of that. We remain, as we have been, and will be, All Heart

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