Danbury Health Center expands to serve more patients and train ‘next generation’ of providers

DANBURY — The Connecticut Institute for Communities has expanded its health center, with additional space for dentistry, pediatrics and other care.

The new wing of the building at 120 Main Street is approximately 8,500 square feet and includes three new dental operating rooms, a new family practice room, eight additional pediatric and adult medicine exam rooms, and a primary care simulation lab. for the organization’s teaching health center program. .

The Connecticut Institute for Communities, abbreviated to CIFC, unveiled a new name and logo for the building Thursday at a ribbon cutting, which will now be called CIFC Health (pronounced civic health).

CIFC Health is a federally licensed community health center with a stated mission to provide affordable, accessible, comprehensive and high quality health care to residents of the Danbury area. It does not turn people away and uses a mobile fee basis for patients.

One of CIFC’s health programs, the Primary Care Adult Medicine Residency Program, allows participants with a medical degree to prepare for a career in primary care.

“We are a teaching health center, which means we train our own post-MD residents in community settings,” said CIFC President and CEO Katie Curran. “We are the only accredited academic health center in the state of Connecticut.”

Originally 36,000 square feet, the health center building, which also serves as CIFC’s headquarters, was designed with an eye toward expansion.

With the expansion, CIFC hopes to care for more patients and create the best possible learning environment for residents.

“Much of this space is dedicated to our residents,” Curran said. “There is a new study area for them in the building, as well as what we believe is the first of its kind in a community health center in the country, which is an ambulatory simulation laboratory for our residents to train. and learn important procedures. ”

The goal of the teaching health center according to Curran is to “educate the next generation of primary care providers who are dedicated to working in community settings where they serve underserved patients.” Nearly 75% of program graduates have gone on to work in primary care.

The new wing of the health center was made possible through a combination of state bond funds and a $3 million loan from three community banks, according to Curran. Union Savings Bank, Newtown Savings Bank and Savings Bank of Danbury each committed $1 million to the loan.

This is just one of the projects that CIFC has embarked on. The organization secured a $2 million state grant last month to build a two-level garage that can accommodate about 100 parking spaces behind the health center. The goal is to add 80 housing units for low and modest income residents above the garage.

The lieutenant governor and other elected officials celebrated the grant in Danbury on Friday morning.

“The creation of this garage will provide greater convenience and accessibility for patients at CIFC, allowing more customers to receive their much-needed services,” said Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “These dollars are part of the State Bonding Commission’s most recent program, where most of the dollars were directed to local nonprofits, governments, and state agencies seeking funding to support a variety projects across the state. This $2 million allocation for CIFC will allow the center to serve more patients, children and families, helping to facilitate our administration’s goal of creating a more affordable and healthier Connecticut.

New name

With the expansion, the health center will retire the Greater Danbury Community Health Center name.

The name change stems from practical reasons, hoping to deter previous confusion within the community.

“There is another community health center with a satellite in Danbury known as CHC Inc.,” Curran said. “So obviously you can see the confusion between CIFC and CHC Inc. We found that during the pandemic when we were testing and using vaccines, we sometimes got calls from their patients to get results and vice versa, we wanted so clarify who we are.”

CIFC has 14 sites in total, primarily in Danbury, but this also includes a school health center in Newtown and sites in New Milford. The organization actively seeks to work with Brookfield Public Schools.

“The health center was known as the Greater Danbury Community Health Center and we changed it for a number of reasons,” Curran said. “One being that we are expanding into other areas of the community.”

The name change was accompanied by the announcement of a new logo, which aspires to better represent the organization.

“We’re very excited about the new logo, which has lots of bright colors,” Curran said. “We think this is representative of the diversifications we serve. Fifty percent of our patients are best served in a language other than English, so we serve a very diverse population and believe the logo reflects who we are.

About Hector Hedgepeth

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