The new year often brings in resolutions to get in shape, and fitness can play a life-saving role in health outcomes, particularly with chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, Wheeler has received a $10,000 gift, with a pledge to match up to $5,000 more if other donors come forward by March 31, to help patients achieve better wellness through fitness in 2021.
The gift supports, within a supervised plan of health care at Wheeler, gym memberships, personal coaching, fitness programs, and equipment needed for motivated patients to become healthier through exercise.
“Wheeler’s approach to health is about all the parts of wellness coming together,” the donor says. “Times are so difficult for so many people today, and if this gift allows patients to take control of their fitness in ways they couldn’t consider before, their health will improve.”
Incidences of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are widespread in the patients Wheeler serves at its five Family Health & Wellness Centers in Bristol, Hartford, New Britain, Plainville, and Waterbury. Patients often have significant unmet health care needs and are also affected by the social determinants of health daily. Many of the risk factors of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and general illness are similar: poor nutrition, environmental and social factors, and lack of exercise.
“We know that regular exercise brings provable, significant improvement in mental and physical health,” said Sabrina Trocchi, PhD, MPA, Wheeler’s President and CEO. “It’s easy to simply tell a patient, ‘Exercise more,’ but many of the individuals we serve are not able to afford tools like gym memberships, personal trainers, or fitness equipment. Our donor is providing hope in a healthier tomorrow for patients who are committed to taking that first step to fitness.”
Community health centers like Wheeler are the primary medical home for over 29 million people in more than 12,000 rural and urban communities across America and care for some of the deadliest chronic diseases that medically vulnerable individuals face.
Data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) of Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers reveals that 16.5 percent of its patients have hypertension, and almost 8 percent have diabetes. Within its patients with diabetes, 35.67% have poor control of their disease, which is higher than the statewide average.
Patients who benefit from the gift will have pre- and post-plan data points measured and tracked through regular visits with their care team, and there are plans to expand the program after the first year if significant improvement is shown.
Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Centers
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers are community health centers that provide medical and dental care (or linkages to dental care) for the whole family, as well as behavioral health care, and referral and linkages to specialty services.
Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers are funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Wheeler is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 254b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n).
Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health insurance welcome. No patient will be denied health care services due to an individual’s inability to pay for services.
Improvements to the Family Health & Wellness Center in Hartford are supported in part by the State of Connecticut Nonprofit Grant Program, the Connecticut Health & Educational Facilities Authority, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, and the Ensworth Charitable Foundation. Additional support is provided by Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation.
Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages health, recovery, and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year: www.wheelerclinic.org