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Top News Stories

CHC-backed program graduates first medical-assistants class

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The first class of medical assistants trained specifically to work as key members of primary care teams graduated last week from the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA), a new national training program developed by Community Health Center Inc. of Middletown and Salud Family Health Centers of Colorado.

The seven-month classroom, online and clinical training program trains students to be medical assistants (MAs) who help with primary care office tasks such as taking weight and blood pressure, using electronic records and choreographing patient visits with physicians. They are not nurses, but the position provides entry-level exposure to the medical profession and is a growing area in health care, said Leslie Gianelli, CHC spokeswoman.

CHC graduated four students last week and Salud six and the two plan to expand their NIMAA program to 10 or 12 more clinics across the U.S. who subscribe to their training model and curriculum, Gianelli said. Classes would begin in September and cost $6,000. NIMAA also plans a shorter, less expensive program to upgrade skills of existing medical assistants, starting in early 2018.

CHC and Salud started the program after finding new MAs often weren't fully prepared for team-based primary care and required additional training, so it began the higher-level NIMAA program allowing graduates to be ready to work on their first day, Gianelli said. CHC may hire some of the graduates, pending passing a required exam, but graduates are free to take their skills anywhere.

The Department of Labor anticipates more than 20 percent growth in the need for MAs over the next decade, said David Aylward, project lead for NIMAA.

Telemedicine with a twist at Weitzman Institute/Community Health Center in Meriden

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MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Doctors from across the country are benefiting from innovative patient-centered care approach at Community Health Center.

Doctors in 25 states tuning into Project Echo. They’re on a myriad of devices from laptops to smart phones.

Primary care physicians are connecting with specialty doctors through a sophisticated video conferencing system.

“We describe it as making geography irrelevant. You can put people together and connect them and it doesn’t matter where they are,” said Dr. Daren Anderson, Director of the Weitzman Institute at Community Health Center, transforming healthcare delivery.


Say ahhh

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Area families take advantage of free dental check-ups for their children through the Give Kids A Smile program at the Community Health Center in New London, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Give Kids A Smile Day was launched nationally in 2003 by the American Dental Association and annually helps to bring dental care to children in need. (Tim Cook/The Day)

News Releases

Delaware Department of Corrections Introduces Telehealth E-Consults via Connections Community SupportPrograms and CeCN

Program to increase access to specialty care for offender patients; lower healthcare and transportation costs

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Contact: Leslie Gianelli
Community Health Center, Inc.
(860) 918-7504 or [email protected]

Delaware Department of Corrections Introduces Telehealth E-Consults via Connections Community Support Programs and CeCN

Program to increase access to specialty care for offender patients; lower healthcare and transportation costs 

Middletown, Connecticut; October 4, 2016: A new telehealth program launched in Delaware this summer enables primary healthcare providers to receive advice from specialists without offender patients having to leave their correctional facility. Connections Community Support Programs has partnered with Community eConsult Network(CeCN) to implement the telehealth eConsults program, which is expected to increase access to specialty care, and save money in healthcare and transportation costs, resulting in better health outcomes for offenders.

Connections Community Support Program provides primary medical and behavioral health care for all individuals who are incarcerated in the unified correctional system operated by the Delaware Department of Correction. Through CeCN, providers working at correctional facilities can consult with specialists on individual offender patients electronically, submitting details about the case and photos if necessary for feedback.  However, Connections Community Support primary care providers have the final say on the offender patient’s treatment plan. 

“Finding specialists who are taking new patients is difficult in general, but finding specialists who accept new patients from the correctional system is especially hard,” says Delaware Department of Corrections Bureau Chief Marc Richman. “Since we are obligated to provide care of at least a community standard, we often end up sending offender patients long distances for treatment. With two correctional officers managing the transport, each transport is quite expensive.”

Data from previous CeCN programs in a community health setting shows that only 31 percent of e-consults necessitated a face-to-face visit with a specialist. The rest of the time, the primary care physician was able to handle treatment with the specialist’s guidance. Prior to implementing e-consults earlier this year, Delaware DOC performed 2500-2700 medical moves a year at a cost of $800,000 - $1,000,000. “Lowering that number will result in significant savings,” says Richman.

“The idea that drives CeCN is to move knowledge, not patients,” says Daren Anderson, Director of Community Health Center’s Weitzman Institute, which oversees CeCN. “It’s hard to imagine a setting where this idea makes more sense than the correctional system.”

“In vulnerable populations, we see that e-consults lead to more timely care and better health outcomes because the majority of the time, care can be delivered without the patient locating or scheduling a specialist,” says Kevin Massey, who oversees CeCN as Business and Product Develo

CHC Joins Stand Down to Support the State’s Veterans

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Contact: Leslie Gianelli

[email protected]

(860)-347-6971 x3080


CHC Joins Stand Down to Support the State’s Veterans
Free dental care and screenings provided during day-long event


MIDDLETOWN, Conn., September 26, 2016: Community Health Center, Inc. was one of the 70 or so agencies and organizations participating in Stand Down 2016 to aid the state’s veterans Friday. Its dental clinic and information booth were extremely popular. Hundreds of veterans and family members stopped by the CHC booth for information about the agency’s health care services for the medically underserved.

One veteran came to CHC’s dental clinic with a mission: “I’m here to get my smile back,” said the vet who served in Korea and Viet Nam. He needed a new set of dentures, to replace ones he accidentally threw out after wrapping them in a napkin and placing them on a lunch tray. “I used to smile all the time, and I miss that.”  He got an oral cancer screening, a cleaning, and a consultation for dentures, along with follow up appointments at a CHC dental site required to prepare the dentures.

He was one of 79 veterans screened for oral cancer and one of 65 who received dental treatment, which included fillings and extractions. Sixty-six veterans received dental cleanings.

CHC is a regular participant at the annual Stand Down event.  The care was provided by three dentists, four dental assistants and nine dental hygienists.

“This event is very special for us as care providers, because we know we are providing important care to people who really need it,” said Sheela Tummala, DDS, chief dental officer for CHC and one of the care providers at Stand Down.


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.

Community Health Center, Inc. Receives $330,502 for Quality Improvement

The grant is the largest of 15 awarded to Connecticut community health centers

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The Community Health Center, Inc., (CHC), received a $330,502 grant  from the Human Resources & Services Administration Friday in recognition of its excellence in providing high quality care to patients and to continue its quality improvement work.