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Happy 45th Birthday CHC
Meaghan Lyver
/ Categories: CHC News Releases

Happy 45th Birthday CHC

Courage and Critical Thinking. A Birthday Gift

Happy 45th Birthday CHC
Courage and Critical Thinking: A Birthday Gift

May 1, 1972: forty-five years ago today. That’s the day when a group of Wesleyan University students and Middletown community activists raised the banner that “Health care is a right and not a privilege.” That was our first day at Community Health Center, Inc.

It might sound easy to raise that banner, but it took courage to speak about the inequalities of our local health system. With that action, we were acknowledging that because of race and economic standing, some of our neighbors were denied health care. It wasn’t easy because in a small town everyone knows each other, and when you say something like that, you’re pointing a finger at someone else. It also wasn’t easy because the public practice of medicine didn’t exist – what existed was a charity model of care doled out based on perceived worth.

What a refreshing idea: that the organization of health care would be put in the hands of consumers – the majority of our board was and has always been patients. This wasn’t just our idea – it was an idea that had long been talked about in our country – and tens of thousands have continued to keep it aloft over all these years.

But courage needs a lift and we’ve been blessed to attract people with the critical thinking skills to work past a slogan and toward a working model of holistic care that can be sustained. In 1972, we were blessed to have those Wesleyan students and people like Gerry Weitzman and Reba Moses, who thought hard about how that system should look and behave. And in 2017, we’re blessed with staff people who bring their excellence and passion to this work, every single day.

Like every community that has experienced a combination of courage and critical thinking, we know real and lasting change needs to be rooted in common ground. Yes, even those folks we once pointed a finger at are needed to help build a system of care that makes all people in our community healthier.

Today is a day we hope that others will find the courage to raise their own banner and to think critically about the needs that still need tending.

To all those who have helped and those still eager to – we thank you as we celebrate another birthday. Please take some time to read our commemorative publication.https://nebusinessmedia.uberflip.com/i/815064-community-…/0…

Peace and Health 
Mark Masselli

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