CHC Joins House of Teens Open House

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Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with cardiologist, genomics and telemedicine expert Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. They discuss his latest book, The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is In Your Hands, in which he predicts the “medicalization of the smart phone” is poised to truly democratize medicine by putting the power of diagnostics and monitoring in the patient’s own hands

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The CHC HealthCorps MLK Day of Service Recap

On Monday, January 19th, the Americorps team of CHC, Inc. observed MLK day by participating in a day of service at the University of Bridgeport. They joined a group of UB students and community volunteers to create over 30,000 3-serving bags of lentil casserole. The bags were created for a social charity called “Feeding Children Everywhere.” FCE’s mission is to provide the healthiest meal possible to children and families across the world. It has sent 20 million meals around the world and shipped over ten million meals to hungry children in 25 different states across the country. The bags made on Monday will be donated to various food banks in Bridgeport to benefit the community.

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Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day!

Today, CHC President and CEO Mark Masselli sent the following message to CHC staff.

As we honor The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year and are surrounded by reminders of how far away Dr. King’s dream remains, his words can give us hope. ” The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”.

It is a long arc, but President Obama put it into context, ” It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice.”

Thank you to all the CHC staff who work day after day to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice, especially in fighting injustice in health care, which Dr. King described as “the most shocking and inhumane.”

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Steven Brill, Author of “America’s Bitter Pill”

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with attorney and author Steven Brill, whose latest book examines the creation of the Affordable Care Act. America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Health Care System examines the influence of the powerful health care lobby in blocking meaningful cost containment measures in the health care law.

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Weitzman Weekly

Spotlight: Journal Club

journal club

CHC staff gathering around the table and on the phone to discuss the journal article of the month.

Every first Wednesday of the month, staff members at the Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) are encouraged to meet and discuss a research article. Participants can join in-person or via Zoom Videoconference call. This month, Kerry Bamrick led Journal Club in a discussion regarding the usefulness and need for nurse practitioner (NP) programs. The group discussed the key points in the article and ended the conversation with ideas on research projects that can stem out of the topic discussed.

This month, staff members discussed an article titled, “Pioneering a Primary Care Adult Nurse Practitioner Interprofessional Fellowship” by Zapatka et al.  In the article, the authors argue the importance of providing NPs with a residency program before entering the work force. They validate their claims using the qualitative data they collected. After reviewing interviews conducted with the NP residents, they found that the residency program benefitted residents by helping them (1) bridge their nursing program with professional practice, (2) expand NP’s appreciation of health professionals’ roles, (3) commit to interprofessional teamwork, and (4) realize the necessity of mentorship.

Based on these themes in their findings, the authors go on to conclude that NP residencies are beneficial and that it is a necessary part of nurse practitioners’ training. The CHC staff members involved in the discussion seemed to agree with the authors on the importance of NP residency program. For the duration of Journal Club, the group focused on three main questions:

  • Where should our research start as we look for ways to effective evaluate the NP residency program?
  • What organizations would be interested in this research and therefore be willing to help fund this expensive project?
  • Should NP residency programs be a mandatory part of nurse practitioners’ training?

The Journal Club group quickly realized that there are numerous variables that could be studied to determine the effectiveness of NP residency programs. It would be most interesting to collect qualitative data comparing nurse practitioners who went through residency programs versus those that went straight from nursing school to a health care setting. In terms of funding, it was suggested that agencies like the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) or academic institutions might be interested in the research and therefore fund the project. The biggest debate of the day was in regards to whether NP residencies should be mandatory or just highly recommended. Some argued that if medical doctors need to do a residency, why shouldn’t nurse practitioners? They both have very similar responsibilities. Others were hesitant to make it mandatory because that may inhibit people from choosing to become an NP in a primary care setting. The discussion is far from complete but this article helped start some great dialogue.

If this is a topic of interest for you, I encourage you read the article. If you have any questions about the NP residency program offered at CHC, please contact Kerry Bamrick at You can also read my earlier blog post for more detail:

Cheers and enjoy this comic :)

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Dr. Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton Health Economist

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned Princeton Health Economist Dr. Uwe Reinhardt about the roll out of the Affordable Care Act which he says is doing what it was intended to do; expand coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. Dr. Reinhardt discusses the inherent challenges in creating sustainable health reform due to the vast complexities of the American health system and warns we are heading towards a 3-tier health system in this country

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A Look Back at Danbury’s First Holiday Party!

Priti Shah, the Americorps member based out of Danbury, was instrumental in organizing Danbury’s first annual Children’s Holiday Party. She wrote this post to share about the event’s success!

On December 12th, 2014, Danbury CHC held its first annual Children’s Holiday Party. Instead of having a staff gathering to celebrate the holidays, staff decided to use their collective efforts to give back to the community. The event was an opportunity for CHC children to take pictures with Santa, make ornaments and picture frames, eat holiday treats, and receive a gift from Santa.

With the help of committed staff and community partners, the event was a success with over 50 children and their families. Children were elated and families expressed being grateful. Santa’s elves worked diligently for the past few weeks organizing the event and mobilizing decorations, gifts, refreshments, and raffles. Despite being the first Holiday event for CHC children, staff utilized Danbury’s strength of committed staff and local businesses to collect a plethora of contributions from teddy bears to holiday treats to gift cards, all within weeks. Generous community supporters on Santa’s Nice List included A&P, Build-a-Bear, Chick-fil-a, Costco, Dunkin Donuts, Forever Yours Flowers & Gifts, Graham’s, Home Depot, Party Depot, Pepsi, Starbucks, Stop & Shop, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, and Walmart.

Finally, CHC would like to thank all staff, AmeriCorps, and community volunteers for giving their time and contributions.

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Esther Dyson, Founder of HICCup

This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with angel investor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, cosmonaut and founder of numerous tech enterprises including her latest venture, Dyson, who is known as one of the most influential women in the tech industry has since turned her attention to improving “health, not health care”, and discusses HICCup’s 5-year, 5-city competition called “The Way To Wellville” in which cities compete to improve overall population health.

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Dr. Briggie New Publication with His Daughter

At CHC, we’re proud of all our staff who provide great care and who get opportunities to write about their research and experiences. Sometimes, getting published can carry special meaning, like it has for Cliff Briggie, one of our therapists in Meriden.

Dr. Briggie’s daughter, Alexis Briggie received a request from a prestigious publisher and invited her father to join her. Together they wrote a chapter in a new book, The Behavioral Addictions going on sale this month.

The Behavioral Addictions introduces readers to explore the diagnosis and treatment for patients who suffer behavioral addictions. Each chapter focuses on a real – life case study of a patient struggling with an addiction. It covers behaviors ranging from exercise, food, gambling, shopping, work, love, etc.

Clifford and Alexis focused on the behavior of love, “A Case on a Romantic Relationship Addiction.” They delve into their chapter defining the addictive behavior of love, and break it down into different components that escalate the addictive nature while also providing a case study. They also provide thoughts on psycho-behavioral approaches, treatments, key points, and much more.

Dr. Briggie is very proud to have contributed in The Behavioral Addictions – but he’s even prouder to have accomplished this opportunity with his daughter. As a glowing father, “Working on this with her has been a highlight in my life. It was a very smooth, and productive process, and we were able to give each other candid feedback about our respective contributions.” He goes on to say, “It was a completely professional collaboration and happened to be with someone I love. I am so proud of her – her accomplishment, her ideas, and her professional development. And most importantly, she is an awesome human being! I count my blessings every day.

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