The Connecticut Health Foundation has awarded Asnuntuck Community College a $25,000 grant. Asnuntuck will use the funding to support the work of a new Wellness Center. The Center’s mission is to inform Asnuntuck’s 1,800 students of affordable healthcare options, including wraparound social services. The initial focus is getting students access to affordable health insurance. The College will connect students to care via weekly on campus visits from the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut (CHCACT), Community Health Resources (CHR) and Enfield Social Services.
 
The Center will connect students to care regarding affordable health insurance, healthcare, dental and mental health services, addiction services, housing insecurity, food insecurity and more. The professionals who visit campus during peak traffic times will be here to make appointments with Asnuntuck’s students.
 
The Wellness Center, expected to open this fall, will share space on campus adjacent to Asnuntuck’s expanded ACC Pantry. Director of Student Activities Sherry Paquette will oversee both the Wellness Center and the Pantry with support from an AmeriCorps VISTA member as part of a Healthy Futures program, a student worker, and student volunteers. Paquette said, “This holistic approach will help our students to stay in college and graduate. This will aid them in becoming more self-sufficient and upwardly mobile, thus breaking the cycle of poverty and lack of healthcare.”

“Access to care and social services are critical to being as healthy as possible,” said Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation. “The concept of having one place students can go to connect with healthcare providers and other services on their campus, where they already spend their time, makes good sense. We are very pleased with the college’s commitment to long-term support for this Wellness Hub and we are pleased to help with the initial start-up.”

Asnuntuck’s CEO Michelle Coach thanked the Connecticut Health Foundation for their support. “The Wellness Hub will provide information and services to students in one all-encompassing center. Students can access this valuable information and then focus needed time on their education. We are thankful for the generosity provided to our students. This Center allows us to support educational experiences that will provide our students’ with positive futures.”

Interim Dean of Student Services and Campus Facilities Tim St. James commented, “Too often, we meet with students who come to us in need of assistance, but don’t know where to start.  Having the Wellness Hub on campus will afford us the opportunity to make those connections with proper healthcare and community services.  We are grateful for the support from Connecticut Health Foundation and the resources will go a long way in helping to remove significant barriers from students’ educational success.”

Classes for the fall semester begin at Asnuntuck on August 27th. Visit Asnuntuck.edu to learn more.

The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving health outcomes for people of color.

Since its creation in 1999, the foundation has awarded more than $63 million to nonprofit organizations and public entities to expand health equity, reduce health disparities, expand health coverage, and improve the health of all Connecticut residents.