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Top News Stories

Middletown-Based Community Health Center Starts Own Medical Assistant School

Meaghan Lyver 0 1033

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.

Community Health Centers facing financial doubly whammy

Meaghan Lyver 0 727

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.

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

Meaghan Lyver 0 542

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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News Releases

Community Health Center, Inc. Attacks Opioid Crisis

Significant Grant Expands Substance Abuse Services

Gabby Pantalena 0 49

Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) has recently been awarded a $175,000 grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) that will help treat patients and communities affected by the opioid crisis.

Complex Integrated Pediatrics is Newest Weitzman ECHO Offering

Registration opens for no-cost, comprehensive training with national experts

Gabby Pantalena 0 49
Community Health Center’s Weitzman Institute today announced the launch of Weitzman ECHO Complex Integrated Pediatrics. Beginning on October 16, 2017, the clinic will connect primary care medical and behavioral health providers nationally with a multidisciplinary team of specialists in complex pediatric care. 

New Horizons Domestic Violence Services Receives $20,000 Grant from the Mary Kay Foundation

Critical funding awarded during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Gabby Pantalena 0 57

Community Health Center, Inc.’s domestic violence services, New Horizons, was chosen to receive one of 150 grants awarded by The Mary Kay Foundation to further efforts to combat domestic violence and provide rehabilitation services throughout ConnecticutDuring Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation is awarding $3 million in grants to domestic violence shelters across the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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