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Providing a solution

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Last week ground was broken on a $5.3 million project to create a new health care center in North Canaan that will serve all Northwest Corner residents with a range of services, including primary care and behavioral health services. In a Page One story this week, our reporter Riley Klein notes that besides individual therapy, there will be group therapy, medication management, women’s health and child and adolescent behavioral services.

The new facility, to be located across from the Stop & Shop and which is expected to completed in the fall of 2023, will provide this care regardless of ability to pay. It will be the third one for the Community Health and Wellness Center in Torrington, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC). As such, it receives federal money to provide medical care to areas in need where such care is scarce and without regard to insurance status or financial means. The center’s two other facilities are in Torrington and Winsted.

Starting last May, the same Community Health and Wellness Center in Torrington started a mobile-clinic service covering the towns in the Northwest Corner with a regular weekly schedule of visits. The mobile clinics were hailed as a breakthrough that made it possible to get healthcare without traveling. In the case of West Cornwall, a visit to the mobile clinic marked the first time in three decades that residents could get medical care in their own town. On one visit, two clients were seen as new patients. Others received COVID shots, a typical need back then.

Some experts see such innovation as a significant element in future delivery of medical care to people.

The North Canaan project, funded by a bond contract of $3 million from Gov. Ned Lamont’s office and a $1.3 million grant from the Foundation for Community Health, and supported by State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64), has been years in the making. Joanne Borduas at the Community Health and Wellness Center and Nancy Heaton at the Foundation for Community Health have spearheaded the effort, recognizing a need and delivering a solution.

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