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Dr. Anna Timell of Cornwall stepped into the Community Health and Wellness Center’s mobile clinic on Wednesday, May 4, at the Union in West Cornwall.  Timell was the last primary care physician in Cornwall more than three decades ago. Photo by John Coston

Mobile medical care will cover five towns

WEST CORNWALL — Medical care was brought to West Cornwall at the Union on Wednesday, May 4, marking the first time in three decades that residents didn’t have to travel out of town to get health care.

Starting May 26, the schedule of the Torrington-based Community Health and Wellness Center’s mobile medical clinic will cover five towns in the Northwest Corner on a regular weekly basis.

In West Cornwall, as its three-hour visit was wrapping up, the medical team had administered seven COVID-19 vaccinations and saw two new patients.

Dr. Anna Timell of Cornwall was among the first patients to get care. Timell was in line to get a second COVID-19 booster shot. On a poignant historical note, Timell was the last primary care physician to keep an office in Cornwall, running a family practice out of her home in the late 1980s.

“This is fantastic,” Timell said. “I see this as more and more the way medical care will be delivered to people. Now, people have to travel to get care because they can’t find primary care in their community.”

When she practiced in Cornwall, Timmel said that she found it difficult to make a living, and after she began to notice that many of her patients’ cars in her driveway were from New York state, she made a move to eastern Dutchess County.

“Primary care physicians are the gatekeepers,” Timell said. Not only is there a shortage of primary care physicians in the Northwest Corner, most of them already have full practices, she said.

The Community Health and Wellness Center in Torrington is a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC) and receives federal money to provide medical care to areas in need where such care is scarce and without regard to insurance status or ability to pay.

The center offers comprehensive medical services, along with behavioral health services, social services, dental care and women’s health, among others.

Here is the weekly schedule of the mobile clinic:

Tuesdays — Sharon Hospital from 9 a.m. to noon

Wednesdays — West Cornwall at the Union from 9 a.m. to noon

Thursdays — Salisbury VNA at 30A Salmon Kill Road from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. beginning May 26; and North Canaan at Pilgrim House currently from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m  until May 26, when it will be from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Fridays — Torrington Community Soup Kitchen 10:30 am to 1 p.m. (The team is at the FISH Shelter without Betty from 8:30 to 10 a.m.)

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