NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Community Health Center has been awarded a $525,000 federal grant that will go toward purchasing a new medical/dental van, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4th District) announced Tuesday.
The van will be used to bring medical, dental, mental health and substance abuse services to Norwalk’s homeless population and residents of public housing.
“Bringing health and dental care directly to the homeless and other individuals who can’t afford to visit a traditional doctor means better and more timely health care for them and lower costs for us all,” Himes said in a written statement. “The Norwalk Community Health Center does impressive work providing care to those who would otherwise go without, and they should be commended for their efforts.”
The grant was provided by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s New Access Point grant program. The van will be staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, a dental hygienist and a social worker, and will be fully equipped with an electronic medical records system, telephone communications, a blood-drawing station and dental equipment. The van will operate five days a week.
“The health center staff and its board of directors are thrilled to contribute in this way to Mayor Richard Moccia’s 10-year plan to end homelessness in Norwalk and to collaborate with the Norwalk Housing Authority to bring services directly to the patient’s home location,” NCHC CEO Lawrence Cross said in a written statement. “Mobile access to services, anywhere within city limits, should reduce unnecessary and expensive visits to the hospital emergency department and overcome existing barriers to care while improving overall outcomes for patients with chronic conditions.”