Community welcomes new health center

Foundation for Community Health Director Nancy Heaton cheers alongside the team that made Community Health and Wellness Center's new North Canaan facility a reality. CHWC's CEO Joanne Borduas (far left) thanked all the partners who contributed to creating a comprehensive health center in the Northwest Corner.

Riley Klein

Community welcomes new health center

NORTH CANAAN — The long-awaited opening of Community Health and Wellness Center’s (CHWC) facility on East Main Street has arrived.

After more than a decade of planning and collaboration with community partners, CHWC’s North Canaan goals have become reality. The ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, May 10, ushered in a new era of healthcare for the Northwest Corner.

CHWC CEO Joanne Borduas spoke on the monumental achievement and what it means for the people of the region, saying the new center “welcomes everyone through the door without stigma and without discrimination. And for that, we are so grateful.”

Adding to its standalone centers in Winsted and Torrington, CHWC’s new facility in North Canaan is open to the roughly 17,000 residents in the Region One towns and Norfolk.

Foundation for Community Health (FCH) worked alongside CHWC throughout the process. Director Nancy Heaton spoke at the ribbon cutting and recalled an email she sent to regional leaders and medical professionals in 2007 to discuss healthcare opportunities in the Northwest Corner. She identified the need for a comprehensive medical center and Heaton was “more than a little bit emotional” to see the new facility open its doors 17 years later.

“I believe that this center can and will contribute toward improving the health and well-being of all the communities. Not just North Canaan, but all the surrounding communities.”

Joanne Borduas speaks before approximately 100 attendees for the ribbon cutting of the new health center in North Canaan.John Coston

The new center will offer integrated medical and behavioral health services, providing a one-stop destination for comprehensive care.

“Rural healthcare is a crisis and a challenge across this country,” said State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) to the roughly 100 attendees of the ribbon cutting. “These people matter. They all matter, and they all deserve healthcare and we’re going to make it work.”

“Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony for CHWC’s new regional healthcare center marks the official start of a chapter deeply rooted in equity, access, and affordability,” said First Selectman Brian Ohler. “As a small rural community we are so thankful and honored that CHWC and its leaders chose North Canaan as their hub for such a critical resource.”

An open house will be held Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to introduce the community to its new wellness center.

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, or to schedule an appointment for either primary care or mental health services starting in early June, call (860) 362-5101.

Joanne Borduas and artist John J. Hodgson, who painted the art seen here inside the regional health center. Riley Klein

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