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Top News Stories

DeLauro- Repealing Obamacare ‘will cause chaos’

Meaghan Lyver 0 407

By Randall Beach, New Haven Register

MIDDLETOWN >> Medical professionals joined Connecticut political leaders Saturday to tell how small business owners, the self-employed, farmers, the poor and the elderly will be harmed — and in some cases could die —- if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

Those who gathered at the Community Health Center warned that the move this past week by the Republican-controlled Congress to repeal the law without having a replacement poses a dangerous threat to millions of Americans.

“We have heard the Republicans talk about repeal but they have been tellingly silent on their so-called ‘better’ replacement,” said U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3 of New Haven.

“This will cause chaos and cost lives,” DeLauro added.

She noted more than 20 million people now have insurance because of the ACA. Its repeal, she said, “will have a chilling effect in our state; 180,000 people in Connecticut who have gained coverage since the ACA was implemented could lose their coverage if the ACA is entirely or partially repealed.”

DeLauro also noted: “And 210,000 individuals in Connecticut who are enrolled in Medicaid under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion stand to lose coverage.”

In addition, DeLauro said more than 1.8 million Connecticut residents would lose their access to co-pay-free preventative care. Moreover, seniors would have to pay more for prescription drugs.

DeLauro noted that her friend Mary Ann Wasil, “one of my personal heroes,” defended the ACA until the end of her life, when she succumbed to breast cancer. “She knew first-hand the impact this law has on people’s lives in their darkest times.”

DeLauro said she will continue to fight for the ACA on behalf of people like Wasil.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2, said he finds it “extraordinary” seeing the contrast between what Republicans are saying in Congress and the messages he is receiving in his office from constituents who say they have benefitted from tha ACA.

“A farmer in Ellington, who is 63, said if he loses his coverage, he’ll be forced to sell his livestock or land to keep the coverage his wife and he need,” Courtney said.

Courtney also recounted the owner of a frame shop approaching him Saturday morning in his store and saying: “I didn’t have health insurance until two years ago” when the ACA made it possible for him to get coverage.

Courtney added, “The repeal will help people who are not in desperate straits. The people who will pay are those calling our offices.”

A registered nurse who has seen this desperation up close, Michelle Hurteau of Killingworth, said some of the people she attends to are already telling her: “Michelle, I can’t afford my medication. I have to choose between that and heat or food.”

Hurteau said before the ACA was enacted, she was turned down by every insurance company she applied to for medical insurance because she had a pre-existing condition.

“When I was able to use the ACA, it brought me the greatest peace of mind. It saved me from bankruptcy, losing my home and untold anxiety. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Hurt

Beyond pills and shots- Pain patients seek other options

Meaghan Lyver 0 399

By Felice J. Freyer GLOBE STAFF  DECEMBER 30, 2016

Fifth in a series of occasional articles on people contending with chronic pain. For previous entries, click here.

 

Little things get Karen Hanlon through the day. Things like the “pain pop” — a Popsicle stick placed in a Dixie cup of water, then frozen. Hanlon peels the paper cup off the ice and rubs the pain pop on the skin between her thumb and forefinger. The cold numbs a nerve that extends up her arm and within minutes soothes her aching neck.

Other times, she puts two tennis balls, tied inside a surgical glove, between her back and a wall, and leans into them to massage away a knot.

But in finding those simple tools, Hanlon is a rarity. In the age of opioid addiction — when getting prescribed painkillers has grown more difficult — little has been done to increase access to other treatments for the ceaseless pain that afflicts one-third of Americans.

 

Community Health Center in Middletown outpaces state minimum wage

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When Connecticut’s minimum wage increases by 50 cents to $10.10 an hour on Sunday, about 150 workers employed by the Middletown-based Community Health Center will benefit from an increase in pay as well.

But the minimum wage workers at the Community Health Center will see their rate of pay increase from $17.50 to $18 as we move into 2017. A primary care provider focusing on uninsured patients and other underserved populations, Community Health Center is entering the fifth year of a plan to keep its minimum wage well above the state and federal levels.

“As part of our mission, CHC strives to be a voice and vehicle for social change, and we believe paying a living wage helps us achieve that purpose,” Mark Masselli, president and chief executive officer of CHC, said. “We are focused on providing world-class healthcare with a world-class staff. Connecticut is an expensive place to live and the entry wage needed to reflect this fact.”

Leslie Gianelli, director of public relations and communications for CHC, said some of the minimum wage jobs the healthcare provider has include greeters, primary service associates, building security workers as well as facilities staff.

CHC has 14 locations around the state that serve more than 145,000 patients. It also brings health care services to schools and homeless shelters.

Connecticut was the first state in the country to approve legislation creating a $10.10 an hour minimum wage and the increase that will take effect Sunday is the last of three steps taken since January 2015 to achieve that goal.

“No one who works full-time should live in poverty,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement released Tuesday about the state’s minimum wage “We believe hardworking men and women, many of whom are supporting families, deserve fair wages. This is money that goes right back into the economy.”

By Luther Turmelle-New Haven Register 

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News Releases

Community Health Center’s Dr. Veena Recommends Simple Steps to Avoid Flu

Meaghan Lyver 0 455

 

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., February 8, 2017: Connecticut is one of the states hit hard by the flu this year, with hundreds suffering from the virus; but it’s not too late to avoid becoming a statistic.

“Get a flu shot. It’s your best protection against the flu, which is expected to peak in March,” says Veena Channamsetty, MD, chief medical officer of Community Health Center, Inc.

Other simple steps to avoid getting the flu:

•             Wash your hands often

•             Avoid close contact with people who are sick

•             If you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches), limit contact with others

•             Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple people

•             Boost your immune system by eating healthy foods and drinking fluids

“The flu spreads easily this time of year, especially in schools and office buildings,” says Dr. Veena. “Taking a few precautionary steps to avoid contracting the virus can make a huge difference.”

 

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com.


Free Dental Care Provided though CHC Mission of Mercy

Meaghan Lyver 0 554

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., January 23: Dental care providers from Community Health Center, Inc. provided free dental care to people in need and without insurance at its Middletown site Saturday as part of the Mission of Mercy program.

“We provided 37 patients with an array of services from exams, X-rays and cleanings to fillings, dentures and extractions,” said Sheela Tummala, chief dental officer for CHC, who participated in and organized the event. “With the support and service of our volunteers, we were able to help many of the patients in need within our community.”

CHC provides dental care to its patients regardless of their ability to pay, using a sliding fee scale for those without Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.  It periodically holds Mission of Mercy dental clinics to provide services to those who are not patients.

“The nurses and doctors are good; and because sometimes I have a job and sometimes I don’t, it can be difficult for me and my family to pay for my teeth. This helps,” said Noemi Campos, who received dental treatment at the event. 

Thirteen staff members, including dental providers, dental assistants, hygienists, and patient service associates volunteered their time and services for the event while staff from CHC’s Healthcare for the Homeless helped schedule appointments and provide transportation.

Tummala said CHC will hold five more Missions of Mercy at different sites around Connecticut this year.

 

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health 

CHC and CeCN Expand Electronic Consultations to California’s El Dorado Community Health Center

Meaghan Lyver 0 414

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., January 17, 2017: The Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) and Community eConsult Network (CeCN) extended rapid specialty consultation service to El Dorado Community Health Center, a primary care organization serving 9,000 patients in California’s El Dorado County. 

The service gives primary care providers at the health center access to prompt electronic consultations for their patients in six specialties: cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, and rheumatology. In most cases, the consultations are completed within two business days.

“CeCN gives primary care providers the ability to communicate promptly back and forth with specialists,” says Daren Anderson, MD, a member of the CeCN Board of Directors. “Our research has shown that specialty consultations can be safely and efficiently managed through secure electronic messaging, with improved convenience for patients and without compromising the quality of care,” he adds.

CeCN, a wholly owned subsidiary of CHC, was incorporated in 2015 to improve access to specialty care, especially in areas where it is limited, such as rural and underserved communities. Restricted access to specialty consultations contributes to healthcare disparities, higher rates of disability, and complications in chronic diseases, according to Anderson.

El Dorado Community Health Center is the third healthcare organization in California to join CeCN. Ampla Health and Chapa-De Indian Health joined last year.

CeCN provides specialty consultation to primary care providers in healthcare organizations in seven states.

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About Community Health Center, Inc.
Since 1972, Community Health Center, Inc. has been one of the leading healthcare providers in the state of Connecticut, building a world-class primary healthcare system committed to caring for uninsured and underserved populations. CHC is focused on improving health outcomes for its more than 145,000 patients as well as building healthy communities. Recognized as both a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission, CHC delivers service in more than 200 locations statewide, offering primary care in medical, dental and behavioral health services. For more information, visit www.chc1.com.

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