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24

Jul

2017

Middletown-Based Community Health Center Starts Own Medical Assistant School

Shawn R. Beals-Hartford Courant

The Community Health Center is pushing to become a national leader in the training of medical assistants by developing its own school to educate the people who are typically providing the first level of primary care.

Community Health Center, Inc. said it recently received approval in five states, including Connecticut, for its home-grown school, and is seeking approval from up to 10 more.

The National Institute of Medical Assistant Advancement started last year with students in Connecticut and Colorado as a pilot group taking a seven-month program that intertwines the classroom and clinical components of traditional medical assistant schools.

In September, a total of 60 to 70 students will be enrolled at eight different health center sites in Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.

A medical assistant is typically the first person a patient sees in their visit, the person who usually measures their height and weight, takes blood pressure and other vital signs and begins to hear about the reason for their visit.

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14

Jul

2017

Community Health Centers facing financial doubly whammy

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) –  Connecticut’s Community Health Centers, that serve thousands of Connecticut residents, are facing two major financial storms. One from the Republican Health Care plan in Washington the other from the State Budget gridlock in Hartford.

About a quarter of the population in Meriden comes to the Community Health Center here for their health care. There are 13 other centers like the one in Meriden around the state serving 145,000 Connecticut residents every year. About eighty percent are covered by Medicaid.

41-year-old Merita Berisha is one of them. She and her mother are refugees from Kosovo. She has two children, also dependent on Medicaid. She is greatly concerned by the news that the Republican health care plan would cut one out of every four Medicaid dollars coming to Connecticut. “My concern is because it’s going to affect me and my kids and my mom and many of us, and I don’t work so I’m afraid it’s going to affect us in so many ways.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal met with the staff here today saying besides the same cuts in Medicaid, the revised Republican health plan will result in fewer people in Connecticut being able to purchase insurance adding, “Disastrous for Connecticut. Disastrous and deadly for our state.”

In addition to these health centers C.H.C. also operates over 200 school based health centers and they have now been threatened by the state budget problems in Hartford. C.H.C. Vice President Amy Taylor saying, “Because of the state budget we are looking at a potential of a 25 percent reduction to our school based health center funding.”

So these centers, that serve the health needs of thousands of Connecticut residents, are facing a double whammy of financial problems. The operators of the Community Health Centers say they’ve weathered many funding storms like this in recent years but this is one of the worst.

The Republican leader in the U.S. Senate is aiming for a vote on the Republican health care plan next week. The House Republican leader in Hartford will attempt to bring up a vote on a state budget solution next week as well but both are considered highly in doubt.

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14

Jul

2017

Blumenthal calls GOP healthcare plan ‘disastrous and deadly’ during tour in Meriden

MERIDEN — Steep Medicaid cuts proposed in the latest Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act could spell “disastrous and deadly” results for the county’s most vulnerable populations, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said during a tour Friday of the Meriden Community Health Center, where 80 percent of patients depend on Medicaid for health care.

“We are going to be fighting this,” Blumenthal, D-Conn, said. “I refer to it as putting eyeliner on a pig, which would be funny if it weren’t so deadly serious.”

The health center on State Street treats 15,000 residents a year, about a quarter of the city’s population, according to Amy Taylor, regional vice president for Community Health Center. About 80 percent of patients at the facility rely on Medicaid for coverage, she said.

Blumenthal greeted staff and patients as he walked through the preventative care, prenatal, psychology and urgent care wings of the health center Friday morning, noting the importance of preventative care.

“It’s a very powerful experience because what I see is people receiving life saving care they otherwise would not have,” Blumenthal said. “And it’s not just saving lives, it’s saving dollars.”

Blumenthal said the latest Republican vision of the health care plan would slash one-fourth of the funding to Medicaid.

“It’s worse than what we’ve seen before,” Blumenthal said.

Health center staff shared stories about patients, emphasizing that when people lose coverage they fail to seek out preventative care and wind up in the emergency room with bills they cannot afford to pay. Medically induced bankruptcy is the ”biggest cause of bankruptcy in the country,” Blumenthal said.

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10

Jul

2017

Innovative Medical Assistant Program Expands to CT

NIMAA Receives State Authorization to Operate Occupational School

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., July 10, 2017: The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA), a national training program designed for the team-based model of healthcare by leading primary care organizations, has received Office of Higher Education authorization to operate a private occupational school in Connecticut.

NIMAA was established by Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) of Connecticut and Salud Family Health Centers of Colorado, two of the nation’s leading primary care organizations.

NIMAA currently operates a medical assistant training school in Colorado; Connecticut is its second school as the program begins to grow rapidly throughout the U.S. Host clinics in several states are expected to join by the time classes begin in September, with the goal of attaining state approval to open schools in many more states.

The NIMAA training program provides live and on-line instruction with formal mentoring and hands-on clinical training from day one so participants learn traditional skills as well as inter-professional and integrated team-based care skills from experts on-line, reinforced the next day at the primary care clinics hosting the program.

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26

Jun

2017

Community Health Center Inc. celebrates on Meriden Green

MERIDEN — Superheroes united Sunday on the Meriden Green to celebrate the Community Health Center’s Meriden location and other centers around the state.

Sharply at noon, the heroes arrived. One of the first, in his bright red cape, was Superman — also known as former Mayor Mike Rohde.

“We feel as though our staff members are superheroes, they do all they can to help those in need,” said Rohde, director of community relationships at Community Health Center Inc.

Over 260 staff members serve over 130,000 patients from Groton to Stamford.

“Here in Meriden alone we serve about 15,000 patients,” Rohde said.

Community Health Center has 15 Connecticut locations that focus on medical, behavioral, and dental care for low-income residents. The Meriden office opened in 1991 and serves city residents and surrounding communities.

 “We help those all around the state, so it was key for us to find a central location ... we thought it was a perfect opportunity to pull people here and help rebuild the community and show them what this city has to offer,” said Mark Masselli, president and CEO of Community Health Center.

The four-hour event included catered food, face painting, bounce houses and volleyball.

“This event is a huge morale booster for the staff, it also helps us build a presence in our communities and show people our purpose,” said Maria Minei, who trained in Meriden and now works as a nurse supervisor in the Waterbury CHC location.

CHC presented and donated a map of the Meriden Green, which will display the walking trails and the time it normally takes to complete them.

“We thought long and hard on how to get people to enjoy these grounds, so we thought with people constantly on the move it would be nice to let them know the time it would take to get some quick exercise in, maybe on their lunch break or in between errands,” said Masselli.

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