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New Cornell Scott site in West Haven to improve care by leaps and bounds

WEST HAVEN – A newly opened health center on Campbell Avenue can make breathing easier, literally.

Officials have welcomed the opening of a new Cornell Scott Hill Health Center at 410 Campbell Avenue, which they say will dramatically improve health outcomes in the city. The community health center offers sliding scale rates for medical services to uninsured or underinsured people, so that health care costs do not place a huge burden on residents.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reported by the New Haven-based nonprofit, between 10.5% and 13.5% of adults in West Haven had asthma in 2018, according to the place where they live in the city, but in the neighboring neighborhood. As a wealthier city of Orange, asthma rates among adults ranged from 9.5 percent to 10.5 percent in all census tracts.

The location isn’t the first for the city – the center has operated a location for years on Main Street – but system CEO Michael Taylor said the new site would improve the quality of care at “no cost.” giant ”. The old location, he said, has been converted from a three-story house to a doctor’s office, and it has become “untenable.”

“Not only is it obsolete, but it was inefficient for our operational needs, there was no parking for patients unless you were considering two spaces, there were stairs that patients had to face, which was impossible for any patient with a physical challenge because of three sets of stairs and the capacity of the examination room was limited: five examination rooms and one consultation room, ”he said. “We couldn’t have more than two providers in the building comfortably for medicine and couldn’t accommodate specialties at night. The exam rooms were undersized so we couldn’t put in services like an OBGYN or podiatry, and those services are needed in West Haven.

Taylor said the wait time between appointments at the Main Street location was often 10 to 12 weeks; he said West Haven residents often had to visit a New Haven Cornell Scott Hill Health site to be treated in a timely manner.


The new location, he said, is considerably larger.

“Now we have 14 examination rooms, two of which are oversized to accommodate procedures such as gynecological procedures and podiatry. they choose – and we’ve expanded the behavioral health capacity, ”he said. “We now have 50 parking spaces on the new location. All the things that were missing from the old facility, we now have them at the new location at 410 Campbell Ave., and on top of that, we’re located literally across from the pharmacy, where people can fill their (prescriptions).

According to the DataHaven report, there are considerable racial gaps in health care in the city, including gynecology: for every 1,000 live births, there is an infant mortality rate of 12.4 for residents of Black West Haven compared to 7.4 for white residents of West Haven. West Haven’s average death rate of 6.9 per 1,000 live births is higher than the state average of 4.6 per 1,000 live births, the report notes.

Mayor Nancy Rossi said her office receives calls from residents seeking medical services and not having insurance; she said her office is trying to refer them. From there, she said she knows gynecological services are in high demand in the city and there is a relative shortage.

“I’m very, very excited about this,” she said. “They have a sliding scale (payment structure) and they take some uninsured patients, and that’s really very, very important because if you’re sick you have to be treated.”

City council member Bridgette Hoskie, D-1, whose district includes the new center, said she recalled going to a place in New Haven several times while growing up – something she thinks she was. of great help to his family.

“Growing up with a single mother, health insurance and medical care were not always readily available,” she said. “These medical insecurities were real life for us.”

Hoskie said she believes the easy and accessible location would be of great benefit to underinsured or uninsured residents.

She believes the expansion of behavioral health services will be crucial for city residents as they deal with the effects of an unprecedented pandemic on the lives of residents. She said she has a friend who seeks mental health services for her child, but has to pay thousands of dollars before she can reach her deductible. Hoskie said she was able to recommend the center to her friend.

“There has always been a need for behavioral health services everywhere, but now there is an extraordinary demand that was really triggered by the experiences people have had with the pandemic: isolation, depression,” Taylor said. “So now we have an increased capacity in the facility and the staff to respond to it. “

Neil Cavallaro, principal of West Haven schools, said the district was “excited” about forming a partnership in the new facilities at the center.

“It is a first-class health center that will be able to deal with physical and mental health issues,” he said.

Cavallaro said that although the district has a school health center in its high school, the district has external health partners to provide additional services.

“Given the stressful times we live in, they often need support that in many cases schools simply cannot provide,” he said.

Anthony Santella, acting chair of the University of New Haven’s Department of Health Administration and Policy, said community health centers such as Cornell Scott Hill Health “play a very important role in promoting health. ‘equity in health’.

“Often laypersons don’t really recognize them for their contributions because they think it’s another clinic or doctor’s office, but the power of community health centers is that they can do so much more than they do. it seems, ”he said, as“ promoting access to high quality and affordable primary care, behavioral health, specialized care – including dental care, vision – which is often put aside and which are an equally important part of maintaining good health and well-being.

Santella said that despite this, the pandemic could draw more attention to the role of these centers.

“COVID has really caused us to reimagine the role of health and healthcare in our lives. Now more than ever, people have come to appreciate the role health plays in their overall success and well-being, ”he said.

Santella said the “real test” of the centre’s long-term success on Campbell Avenue will be its relationship with the community.

“It will be determined by who they hire, what type of community partner they are, how friendly their services are to the public in terms of language, culture, hours and menu of services,” he said. declared. “As someone who works in West Haven, I will be delighted to see the good service they provide to the community.”

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