Generations Family Health Center | Willimantic, Norwich, Putnam and Danielson CT

A statement from Generations - June 2020

condemn racism

We condemn racism in all its forms and demand that we do better as a society so that all of our residents can live freely, without disparity in the treatment of individuals.

The Mission for Community Health Centers was created from the Civil Rights movement, to seek healthcare equality after centuries of oppression of minorities and the poor.  In 1983, our community responded to the health crisis, and created Generations to improve access for patient services- free from any kind of discrimination- and this was developed further over the coming years with goals of 100% Access and 0% Disparities for all of our patients.  The evidence that we have maintained this goal is shown in the improved health outcomes of the patients we serve. We must continue this effort, to ensure healthcare equality for all.

Together we can be better. We can listen more closely to each other and try harder to understand each other. To reach the better world which we all seek, we must be open to having safe discussions about our own conscious and unconscious biases, our judgment of what is right and wrong,  and be able to understand how these beliefs affect our environment and how it ultimately affects each other, as we are all interconnected. In the end, we are all members of the same race, it’s the human race. With this in mind, we encourage all to leave room in your daily lives for compassion and space in your hearts for love.

Generations Family Health Center Senior Management Team 

Local doctors embrace use of telehealth

Local Doctors Embrace Use of Telehealth

Saturday, April 25, 2020

LISA MASSICOTTE, CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER

big-Thank You

In the era of COVID-19, routine doctor and mental health appointments are no longer based on face- to- face exams.

Instead, they are now primarily face- to- computer or ear- to- phone interactions.

They have to be to ensure patient and doctor safety.

" It all changed rapidly a few weeks ago," Rushford Medical Director and Hartford HealthCare Vice President of Addiction Services Dr. Jonathan Craig Allen said from his Farmington office. " There's been a very steep learning curve."

Rushford is affiliated with the Hartford HealthCare network, which also oversees Windham Community Memorial Hospital in Willimantic and Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield.

COVID- 19 curveballs have been thrown at clinicians throughout the world, forcing health care providers to embrace and abruptly transition over to telemedicine.

Despite obvious limitations, physical and behavioral health clinicians are staying positive after discovering a few silver linings to telehealth.

Those silver linings include the elimination of some barriers to access care, increased work efficiency, more flexibility in scheduling and the ability to get to know patients in new ways.

" It makes it more accessible for patients, such as the elderly, who may have difficulty coming into a clinic," said Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, a doctor at The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich and WCMH.

Other doctors and therapists said telehealth also helps patients who have difficulty prioritizing schedules or those who have anxiety.

Insurance has also changed for telehealth during this era of the coronavirus.

" Prior to the pandemic, most insurance companies wouldn't pay for telehealth, or if they did, it was only under certain conditions. We are grateful to the governor and the insurance commissioner for listening to our concerns and stepping in right away to require that this be a covered service," said Susan Grace, who is a psychiatric nurse at the Main Street Wellness Group in Coventry.

Additionally, in contrast to what some previously perceived as an impersonal and impalpable version of health care, telehealth has allowed for new, meaningful connections between doctors and patients, according to local health practitioners.

" I hadn't expected it, but it's really a rewarding experience to see ( patients) in a natural environment," Allen said before listing a few examples of how he was able to better see into the life of his patients.

Allen said, through video appointments, he's been able to meet his patients' dogs or cats that are often talked about, meet patients' spouses, see any projects that his patients have taken on within their homes and see their living spaces.

This gave him the opportunity to get to know his patients in a different way, he said.

" One guy showed me the remodeling job he'd done in his kitchen. He's kind of isolated, you know, go to work and go home and he'd say to me, ' well, I'm working on my house,'" Allen explained.

" And I always wondered what he was really doing in his house and then he showed me his remodeled kitchen so I was actually able to see it."

Generations Family Health Center's Dr. Heidi Tucker has experienced some of her patients being more comfortable with disclosing information to her via a phone or video appointment.

" I feel that people, so far, have been more comfortable telling me things that maybe they wouldn't have in person," Tucker said.

For that to happen though, both Tucker and Allen said the patient must first have an area in the home they feel comfortable talking in.

Allen explained many of his patients go to their parked cars for their appointments.

Tucker said she now has extra time to schedule follow- ups and check- ins with her patients a few days after their initial telehealth appointment.

She added telehealth is helpful for practitioners and patients during medication management and reconciliation because the patient has full access to all their prescription bottles at home.

" It has a lot of the perks of doing an in- home visit, but there's the drawback of not having actual physical contact," Tucker explained.

Every clinician asked agreed that while there have been many learning points, telehealth is no replacement to meeting a doctor in person.

" When you are examining the patients ( in- person), you sometimes notice certain things. When that's not available, you have to make a clinical judgment from just looking at the patient, Qureshi said.

Clinics and medical practices are still seeing people who do not have COVID19 symptoms in person for specific issues.

For example, Tucker stated some types of rashes are simply impossible to diagnose over a computer screen.

With all the challenges overcome, lessons learned and limitations recognized, clinicians agreed telehealth may play a bigger role in life after the coronavirus crisis.

" These are changing times and I feel that the world after COVID-19 is going to be definitely different after these experiences we've had using telemedicine," Qureshi said.

Follow Lisa Massicotte on Twitter @LMassicotteTC.

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Generations Thanks You!

Thank you to Generations Family Health Center’s Board of Directors and Leadership Team for supporting your team of “Generations’ Healthcare Heroes!” We are grateful for your support during these unprecedented times!

READ FULL PDF

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MAKING AND MAINTAINING FRIENDS FOR TEEN GIRLS

*Due to COVID-19, this group has been postponed. Check back for further updates.*



Teen Girls

 

Making friends can be difficult for teenage girls. Our new group supports female adolescents ages 12-16 who have trouble making and keeping friends. If you know someone with limited social skills and insights around healthy relationships, this group may be helpful for her to join. They meet on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 at our Willimantic site. Call (860) 456-6287 to register. Begins Mar 25.

The Social Media Battle Ground

DAD

 

Generations' very own Clinical Therapist from our Willimantic Behavioral Health Department recently had an article published in Family Therapy Magazine titled “The Social Media Battle Ground”. Congratulations Kate! It’s an awesome article that is very informative for all parents.

View Article (see pg 14)

 

Bysiewicz Quells Census Fears

DAD

The Chronicle, Thursday, January 16, 2020


Bysiewicz Quells Census Fears

By CLAIRE GALVIN, ­­CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER

'We don't want anyone to be afraid to fill out the Census form'

WILLIMANTIC — Local and state leaders gathered Wednesday to remind residents about the importance of the upcoming census.

But in addition to merely reminding folks to participate, Wednesday’s event at Generations Family Health Center in Willimantic aimed to relieve concerns about respondents’ privacy and protection, especially when it comes to local immigrants.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz visited Generations to discuss the 2020 United States Census.

" The governor and I have been on a mission to make sure that we meet all the challenges of the digital divide, hard- to- count areas, and the challenge of the citizenship question," Bysiewicz said. " We don’t want anyone to be afraid to fill out the Census form."

Nationally, the Trump administration has targeted immigrant populations, with federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials conducting regular sweeps of undocumented immigrants.

This has caused consternation among many immigrant populations who are fearful that, if they fill out census forms, they’ll be

deported, even if they’ve lived in this country most — if not all — of their lives.

Wednesday, Bysiewicz was accompanied by U.S.

Census Congressional and Tribal Senior Partnership Specialist Eva Bunnell.

Soon after the gubernatorial election, Bysiewicz directed both state and local efforts on the importance of the complete count, especially in hard- to- count communities.

" In this area, we have predicted that more than 35 percent of the population are not likely to self- respond," Bunnell said. "It’s power and it’s money."

Census data is used to calculate federal funding, congressional and state legislative districts.

Windham is considered a hard- to- count community because of its college student population, rental population and low- income population, among others.

Speakers also attempted to relieve concerns among immigrant populations who might not feel safe being counted.

" There are many people in our community who are underserved and the resources to meet those needs won’t be there if people aren’t counted," said state Sen. Mae Flexer, D- Killingly.

Several other community partners spoke on the importance of the U.S. Census, such as state Rep. Susan Johnson, D- Willimantic; newly elected state Rep. Brian Smith, D- Colchester; state Rep. Pat Wilson Pheanious, D- Ashford; Windham Town Council President and Acting Mayor Thomas DeVivo; Generations CEO Arvind Shaw; Willimantic Public Library Director Daniel Paquette; Eastern Connecticut State University Student Conduct Director Christopher Ambrosio; and Generations Health Center Advocacy Coordinator Susan Beauregard.

" We’re the boots on the ground," Beauregard said. "Our patients talk to us about other concerns beyond their medical conditions. We anticipate that patients are going to have questions about the Census."

Beauregard also serves as chairperson of the Windham No Freeze Project Board of Directors.

Bysiewicz and Bunnell explained the Census process going forward.

Between March 12 and March 20, United States residents will receive a letter in the mail to respond online to the 2020 Census.

A second reminder letter

will be sent between March 16 and March 24.

Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation.

Census workers conducting in-person counts will be the last option for residents.

Part-time Census workers are still needed to facilitate those counts.

More information about the Census is available at census.gov.

Follow Claire Galvin on Twitter - @ CGalvinTC.

In this area, we have predicted that more than 35 percent of the population are not likely to selfrespond. It’s power and it’s money.

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Contact Us
Willimantic (860) 450-7471
Behavioral Health Services/Willimantic (860) 450-0585
Danielson (860) 774-7501
Norwich (860) 885-1308
Putnam (860) 963-7917

This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Service (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims,
including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. For more information see https://bphc.hrsa.gov/ftca/