As many states prepare for Medicaid expansion and as the number of privately-insured patients seeking services increases thanks to the Affordable Care Act, community health centers nationwide face a growing demand for primary care.
In Connecticut, the Community Health & Wellness Center of Greater Torrington (CHWC) is preparing to meet some of that demand by offering services—including physical, mental, and dental health care, and supportive resources—to more people.
The center is embarking on a $10.8 million capital expansion supported by financing and expertise from Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) and Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC). The project will quadruple CHWC’s capacity, enabling the center to fill a growing need for services that saw annual patient visits increase to nearly 27,000—a 220 percent rise—from 2009 to 2012. This number is expected to double—exceeding more than 60,000—in the next five years.
"Our growth has been phenomenal. We started in 2004 with 1,500 square feet of donated space, and now we'll expand to 34,000 square feet to advance our mission of providing quality primary and dental care to Greater Torrington's families and communities,” said Kathy Grimaud, CEO of the Torrington center. “And we’re creating 36 new full-time jobs.”
Since 1993, PCDC has catalyzed more than $480 million in primary care investment in low-income communities and helped more than 900 primary care organizations like CHWC strengthen their operations.
"We are proud to be part of CHWC's growth," said Ronda Kotelchuck, CEO of PCDC, a 2012 NEXT Opportunity Award recipient. "With health insurance and Medicaid expansion, tens of millions more patients will need quality primary care. Health centers that expand smartly will be well positioned in the new health care environment."
Support of CHWC is part of PCDC’s NEXT Awards strategy to expand its financing beyond New York state to other states on the East Coast and then nationally to bring safe, effective, and quality primary care to areas with unmet need.