The federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has awarded Charter Oak Health Center, Inc. (COHC), located in the south end of Hartford, with a federal grant of $1 million to increase its capacity for patient care, one of four community health centers in the state to receive the federal grants. Grants of $1 million were awarded to three additional Connecticut community health centers:
- Fair Haven Community Health Clinic in New Haven
- Cornell Scott-Hill Health Corporation in New Haven
- First Choice Health Center in East Hartford
The grants to the four facilities in Connecticut are anticipated to extend program services to an additional 18,776 patients, according to DHHS. Nationally, over $260 million in funding is to be provided to 290 health centers in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for facility renovation, expansion, or construction.
Health centers will use this funding to increase their patient capacity and to provide additional comprehensive primary and preventive health services to medically underserved populations.
"We are truly excited about the award," said Nichelle A. Mullins, President and CEO of COHC. “It is an honor and a great responsibility to serve our patients and community. It is a significant accomplishment to be recognized on a national level for our quality of care. Our mission since 1978 is to offer health care services to our community and with the funding from this grant we will be able to improve and expand our specialty services.”
COHC currently offers a wide range of services from primary medical care, to specialty services including women’s health and gynecology, pediatric care, podiatry, dental and eye care as well as nutrition and wellness therapy. The center offers urgent care services where the patients can be seen quickly rather than in hospital emergency departments. There is also an on-site pharmacy and bilingual services in all areas of care.
According to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, “With these awards, health centers will be able to do things like increase their hours of operation, hire more behavioral health providers, add dental facilities, better treat patients with opioid use disorders, and help people get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and make the journey from coverage to primary care.”
In 2015, Charter Oak Health Center was one of 12 community health centers in the state to receive Expanded Service Awards from the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program within the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Health centers are cornerstones of the communities they serve,” said Secretary Burwell. “These awards will empower health centers to build more capacity and provide needed health care to hundreds of thousands of additional individuals and their families.”
The national grant was initiated in 2009, allowing health centers to add 6 million more patients. Health centers provide high quality preventive and primary health care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Approximately 1 in 14 people in the U.S. relies on a HRSA-funded health center for medical care.
Nearly 1,400 health centers operate 9,800 service delivery sites in every U.S. state, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin; these health centers employ more than 170,000 staff who provide care for nearly 23 million patients across the nation.
Charter Oak Health Center, Inc. (COHC) was founded in 1978 and is an urban, 501(c) (3) federally qualified, Joint Commission-accredited, nonprofit community health center that serves the Greater Hartford, Connecticut Metropolitan Area and surrounding communities - Hartford itself being the poorest of the nation's cities with a population of greater than 100,000.
COHC is located in a medically underserved area (MUA) with an underserved population (MUP) and a health professional shortage area (HPSA). COHC is the only community health center located in southern Hartford and provides Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Health services to over 18,000 patients annually.
Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center is a federally qualified community health center established in 1968 in a collaboration between the community and Yale School of Medicine. The first community health center in Connecticut, the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center has a long history of serving New Haven neighborhoods, which are among the most disadvantaged in the State. Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center also provides health care services to those from West Haven, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Shelton, Naugatuck and Oxford.
East Hartford Community HealthCare changed its name to First Choice Health Centers in recognition of growth as a regional provider of primary care services. First Choice provides health care to 17,453 patients who made 67,663 visits in 2014. First Choice provides comprehensive primary care from newborn through adult and elderly services. The Center offers family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, dentistry, nutrition, sonography, and in 2011 added podiatry followed by optometry in 2012 and behavioral health services in 2014.
With locations in New Haven and East Haven, Fair Haven Community Health Clinic provide comprehensive primary health care, delivered through innovative and alternative systems of health delivery. Healthcare teams provide access to ongoing care throughout our patients' lifetime, including preventative health services, chronic disease management, and acute illness treatment. Fair Haven began in August 1971, under the leadership of a community advocacy agency called the Alliance for Latin American Progress, opening in a local elementary school two evenings a week. The Clinic, also renamed, grew steadily in the decades since, expanding services and patients served.
link to FOX 61 news story.