Wheeler Clinic gets $465K state grant



Gov. Dannel Malloy announced last week that approximately $30.8 million in state grants are being awarded to 92 nonprofit organizations throughout Connecticut as part of the state’s Nonprofit Grant program, which assists organizations with the costs associated with one-time infrastructure improvements that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the services provided by the organizations.

One of the 92 organizations, Plainville’s Wheeler Clinic will receive a grant of $465,152.

“We are extremely grateful to Gov. Malloy for helping meet the capital needs of not-for-profits through the Nonprofit Grant program,” said Wheeler Clinic chief executive officer and president Susan Walkama, LCSW. “This support provides an effective way for us to better meet the needs of individuals, families and communities.”

In January of 2018, Wheeler opened its Hartford Family Health and Wellness Center (FHWC) campus at 43-49 Woodland St., Hartford. The FHWC provides primary care, pediatric care, behavioral health, dental services and complementary medicine in its 43 Woodland St. building and nutrition services in its 49 Woodland St. building.

Wheeler has made substantial renovations to the property since its 2015 purchase and is currently entering phase two renovations that will include structural enhancements to 43 Woodland St. The Nonprofit Grant program funds will help increase site safety, access to services and cost efficiencies for the FHWC campus.

“The three-story, 49 Woodland St. house will serve as the FHWC’s community hub,” said Joanne Morrisson, associate director of communications. “Wheeler has fully renovated the first floor and is in the process of renovating the second. Funds will support the renovation of the third floor of this building to complete and open the FHWC’s Center for Prevention & Community Engagement.”

The center will address social determinants of health that create barriers to care for low income and underserved populations. The site will include office space for community health workers and meeting rooms for community education and activation events. Center staff will deliver programs that target lifestyle and behavioral factors such as exercise, nutrition and self-advocacy.

Funds will also support safety improvements to the campus, including repaving the upper and lower parking lots at the site to increase accessibility and safety for health center patients and staff.

“Connecticut’s nonprofit organizations serve every resident of Connecticut and play a substantial role in maintaining our safety net,” said Gov. Malloy in a press release. “Partnering with them is a smart fiscal investment to ensure that they can continue to provide services while doing so in an efficient, cost-effective way. By supporting capital purchases that enhance the delivery, efficiency and effectiveness of the services they provide, these nonprofit organizations can focus their attention on what they do best – getting services to those who need them most.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.