Here is a letter to all the friends of Community Health Center, on the occasion of our 40th Anniversary:
Forty years ago today, May 1st, a group of Wesleyan University students and Middletown community activists came together under the banner that Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege. We were drawn together because our friends, family and neighbors needed health care that was accessible, affordable and responsive to their needs.
It wasn’t an easy road; there were no grants, professional staff, facilities or information technologies to support our work. We were fueled by idealism and a deep belief that patients should be the cornerstone of whatever was created.
The work began as a Free Clinic, and like all new organizations there was more talk than walk. Those early years were important developmental years. We would move from College Street to Main Street – both figuratively, as well as literally. Our presence on Main Street brought practical knowledge that every small business person learns: work hard and long, listen to your customers and don’t give up. We relied on neighborhood leaders who knew more, were patient with our youthful energy, and who shared their wisdom about how to make a lasting contribution to the community.
Today, Community Health Center, Inc. provides care for 130,000 Connecticut residents. We see our patients (90% of whom live at or near the poverty level) in one of our 200+ locations across Connecticut, providing them with a range of patient-centered medical, dental and behavioral health services.
We believe that if you are engaged in the provision of primary care, you have a responsibility to improve it. To that end, we have become known for our work in two other key areas: Research and Innovation through our Weitzman Center, and Training the Next Generation of health professionals through our residency programs.
We have built an organization where people can do their best work as we strive to build a world-class primary health care system. Along the way, we have been fortunate to attract staff – from our receptionists to our providers – who care deeply about the mission of the Community Health Center. All of this couldn’t happen without a consumer-led Board of Directors, who continue to heed the call that Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege.
In celebration of our 40th anniversary, we hope you will join us on May 5th at noon, as we unveil our new 50,000 sq. ft. “green,” primary health care facility at 675 Main Street, Middletown, CT. This state-of-the-art facility reflects four decades of research, innovation, hard work, and the desire to provide the best care for our patients.
To see the live camera feed of the building click here.
Peace and Health
Senior Vice President
and Clinical Director
Chairman of the Board of Directors