Celebrating 48 Years of CHC’s Dedication and Innovation in the Midst of a Pandemic
Happy Birthday CHC!
Time and circumstance define our history. This May 1st marks our 48th anniversary of the founding of the Community Health Center. Many of you know the stories that helped shape who we are. Yes, it was a group of 20-year-old Wesleyan University students and Middletown activists who raised the first banner for our Free Clinic. Yep, we got shut down because our hallways were an inch too narrow. You’re right, we didn’t have any money, but rather a mission that Health Care is a right, not a privilege.
These events have shaped the understanding of every new generation of Health Center staff who joined in the cause. Now there’s another story to tell. In the midst of a Pandemic, when our nation stopped, you kick-started our new delivery system. In the first week of March we were seeing 3000 people in person everyday – by mid-March we had lost over 70% of our patient visits to the Pandemic shutdown. But you knew the needs of our patients, and by the last day of March, you stood up an entire tele-health service and virtual organization that saw by tele-health over 3000 people on that day!
WOW. That is the story of legends and heroes.
Like we always have done, we share this with our sister Health Centers around the country and with their staffs who, like ours, stood up for the population we all care for: people living in poverty, people of color and diverse by gender. Our patients’ lives matter. With more deaths in just weeks than the nation withstood during the Vietnam War, this crisis is hitting our communities hard and disproportionately. Out of this crisis we will need to craft a new health delivery system, as we can’t go backwards. I know you will continue to stand tall even through our fears, as we know that Hope, Caring and Service will bring a better day.
To this generation of founders, Godspeed and Happy Birthday.
Peace and Health
Founder, President & CEO
Senior Vice President, Clinical Director
Founder Emeritus, Weitzman Institute
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