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CHEFA Grant Enables Move to Wheeler Community Center
Stamford, CT, August 15 2005 – AmeriCares Free Clinics has received an $88,000 grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority that will partially fund the move of its mobile health clinic in Bridgeport into a permanent location at the Wheeler Community Center. This grant, sponsored by the New Canaan Community Foundation, will be used for renovations necessary to accommodate the new clinic site and additional staff.Serving the primary health care needs of the uninsured, the AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport will move into the new space before the end of the year. Currently, the mobile clinic offers three weekly sessions, on Tuesdays at the Newfield Public Library on Stratford Avenue, and on Thursdays and Saturdays at the United Congregational Church on Park Avenue.
“The AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport provides valued medical care for many in our city who might otherwise not be able to afford these services,” said Bridgeport Mayor John M. Fabrizi. “We welcome them to this permanent facility where they will be able to better serve our community.”
While the CHEFA grant will partially fund the move to the permanent space, AmeriCares Free Clinics is seeking additional funding to complete the project. It would also welcome support from area contractors who would be interested in helping complete the renovation projects.
Since opening in 2003, the AmeriCares Free Clinic of Bridgeport has provided health care services valued at more than $880,000 to hundreds of city residents. This past year alone, the clinic boasted more than 1,500 patient visits, an increase of over 75% from last year. Providing general medical services to people 18 and older, as well as specialty clinics for patients with chronic medical conditions, the clinic also offers prescribed laboratory/diagnostic testing through the generosity of Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Quest Diagnostics. The work of the clinic is made possible by contributions of time from more than 100 volunteer doctors, nurses, non-medical volunteers and others, including specialists who see patients in their private offices at no charge.
These partnerships allow the clinic to provide services to patients who cannot afford needed medical care because they lack health insurance. Delaying or not receiving treatment can lead to more serious illnesses and even hospitalization for conditions that could have been avoided had the patient received preventative and/or ongoing care.
In addition to the location in Bridgeport, AmeriCares Free Clinics also has locations that serve the uninsured in Danbury and Norwalk. For more information, visit the web site at americaresfreeclinics.org or call 1-800-486-HELP.