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News & Notes - Winter 2024

As we step into 2024, I'm thrilled to share the pulse of our community's health and well-being. Last year brought extraordinary strides—the nearly complete construction of our Regional Healthcare Center for the Northwest Corner, quality awards, staff triumphs, a special Congressional event, and our team's volunteerism for various causes.

The heart of our success lies in your support and the dedication of our incredible team. With immense pride, I invite you to celebrate our collective achievements, focused on patient-centered compassion and healthcare excellence.

Here's to a year of breaking barriers, transforming visions into reality, and continuing our journey toward comprehensive, accessible healthcare for all. Thank you for being the driving force behind CHWC's positive impact.

Warm regards,

Joanne Borduas, CEO, BSN, MSN, MBA

New Regional Healthcare Center - Opening Soon!

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that our 7,200 sq. ft. Regional Healthcare Center in North Canaan is advancing ahead of schedule! Anticipated to open this spring, our new center is poised to deliver essential medical and behavioral health care to the Northwest Corner. Keep an eye out for details about our upcoming grand opening – we can't wait to meet and serve our new neighbors, bringing comprehensive health services to enhance the well-being of our community.

CHWC Hosts Congressional Delegation Legislative Event

In October, CHWC hosted our congressional delegation to discuss crucial issues for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), with a specific focus on CHWC's mission. The objective was to underscore the importance of having advocates at the Capitol who can champion the causes that align with our mission of keeping Northwest Corner communities healthy. We are grateful for the support of those in attendance: (l. to r.:) Representative Maria Horn, Representative Jay Case, Senator Lisa Seminara, and Representative Michelle Cook (not shown: Senator Stephen Harding). Their participation underscores the collaborative effort between CHWC and our legislative representatives to advocate for the well-being of our community.

CHWC Shines at New England Rural Health Association Conference

At the 2023 New England Rural Health Association Conference, CHWC presented insights into our participation in "The Northwest Connecticut Collaborative Addressing COVID-19 Health Disparities During the Global Pandemic." COO Gina Burrows and Director of Nursing Michelle Jose shared successful initiatives that improved access to social services and medical care for vulnerable populations, effectively tackling health disparities during the pandemic. Jason Kersten, Behavioral Health Program Director, presented "The Impact a Community Care Team Can Have in a Rural Community."

CHWC Earns Prestigious Quality Recognition Badges

Each calendar year, HRSA Health Center Program awardees must submit a comprehensive set of data through the Uniform Data System (UDS). CHWC is proud to announce that this year, our efforts were recognized with three prestigious badges:

  1. Health Disparities Reducer: Among 15 health centers, CHWC is one of only three to receive this recognition.
  2. Access Enhancer: Out of 15 health centers, CHWC is one of four acknowledged for enhancing access to quality care.
  3. Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT): CHWC is one of 15 health centers nationwide to be honored with this badge.

Congratulations to our exceptional CHWC team for their dedication to providing high-quality care, reducing health disparities, and advancing health information technology in our community!

CHWC Welcomes Renowned Haitian Anthropologist, Dr. Bette Gebrian

CHWC had the privilege of hosting Dr. Bette Gebrian, PhD, an internationally acclaimed medical anthropologist with over forty years of experience living and practicing in the rural village of Jeremie, Haiti. Recognized for her pivotal role in developing primary care programs in the third world, Dr. Gebrian has garnered numerous international humanitarian awards for her dedicated work in Haiti.

In October, the Torrington community gathered to hear Dr. Gebrian's captivating presentation on the current health infrastructure in Haiti. The presentation delved into the prevalence of tropical diseases and explored World Health Organization (WHO) treatments, encompassing both traditional and cultural approaches. The event drew a diverse audience, including Torrington School District nurses, The Taft School Public Health Club, CHWC providers and staff, and other medical directors from the surrounding area.

Team Accomplishments

Dr. Victoria Massey, D.M.D., Associate Dental Director was appointed as Adjunct Clinical Instructor in the Division of Behavioral Science and Community Health at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine.

Ann Iannantuono, Senior Director, Quality and Risk Management was selected to participate in the QI Professional Development Training through the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). The curriculum offered skills and techniques for health center staff to facilitate quality and improvement strategies within health centers.

Tara Monroy, Manager, Population Health completed the National Association of Community Health Centers and Northwest Regional Primary Care Association Fall 2023 Community Health Worker Supervisor Professional Development course, gaining skills for maximizing the deployment of Community Health Workers, integration within the larger care team, interfacing with the community, and using data to drive decisions.

...And two of our amazing team members, Jackelyn Perez and Amarilis Vega, were selected for seats in the NACHC's Community Health Worker Professional Development Training and achieved their Certification as Community Health Workers!

Side By Side on a Medical Mission!

In November, CHWC took part in Medical Mission Day at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, offering free healthcare services to both children and adults. Services included screenings, behavioral health support, lab tests, vaccines, prescriptions, eye care, haircuts, warm winter clothing, and free meals. Our dedicated staff, including Cristin Davis RN, Amy Mayerjak RN, Donna Sasani LPN, and Dr. Victoria Massey DMD, worked side by side with other professionals to provide essential health assessments and chronic care management guidance. Bilingual providers ensured inclusivity, reflecting our commitment to community well-being.

Holiday Cheer!

CHWC proudly sponsored a free Sunday matinee on December 17th, featuring the classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" at North Canaan's stunning 100-year-old Art Deco Colonial Theatre! We had the pleasure of meeting new friends and gifting them their own bells to ring in support of Clarence the angel getting his wings. It was a fun and heartwarming experience!

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, CHWC wore pink to show our support for those diagnosed and fighting breast cancer.

The CHWC Quality and Nursing Team attended the (IHI) Institute for Healthcare Improvement Forum in Orlando, Florida to learn and continue our commitment to improving clinical quality, patient safety and process improvement. Pictured are Ann Iannantuoni, Michelle Jose, and Gina Burrows, COO.

Helping Those in Need

We are delighted to spotlight Step-by-Step, a nonprofit co-founded by brothers Matthew and Michael Keating. Over the years, they've generously provided supplies for our patients and community partners. Their recent donation included new socks, hats, gloves, and warm coats for all ages. In return, we proudly support Step-by-Step with donations and redeem deposit bottles, contributing to their efforts in providing essentials for those in need.

Pajama Time: Supporting Children with Pediatric Cancer

At Community Health & Wellness Center, we extend our care to kids! On December 8th, we proudly joined the annual fundraiser for the Pediatric Cancer Fund at Connecticut Children's Medical Center for the second time. Our dedicated staff made contributions and donned their comfy PJs to work, standing in solidarity with pediatric patients who spend their days and nights in cozy pajamas.

Remembering Yvonne Adorno

July 5, 1938 – October 28, 2023

Long-time CHWC Board Member Yvonne Adorno, left an indelible mark with her capacity for kindness and commitment to our mission. Her years of service helped shape CHWC into a model of excellence in patient-centered community healthcare. We extend our sympathy and gratitude to Yvonne's family for her dedication. In her memory, gifts directed to CHWC honor her lasting legacy of community service. Thanks to generous donors, Yvonne's spirit lives on in the heart of our community.


For inquiries about ways you can support Community Health & Wellness, please contact:

Kelly Baxter Spitz, Director of Development, at

Thank you for your support!

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