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(April 22, 2024 | Hartford, CT…)   Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse and tuberculosis are sometimes 3 to 6 times HIGHER among homeless individuals than that of the general population.  – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To address this deep need for health care for the impoverished, what started out as offering simple blood sugar and blood pressure screenings periodically last year, has developed into a much broader health clinic now being offered monthly by the Hartford HealthCare Neighborhood Health team to those in need at Mercy Housing’s Friendship Center.

“Neighborhood Health came to be as a result of lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Kelly Toth, APRN, Director Neighborhood Healthcare.  “After opening mass testing and vaccine sites during the pandemic, we became acutely aware that there were cohorts within our communities that were left behind.  Due to various social barriers these vulnerable populations could not access necessary testing and vaccines, so the concept of mobile testing and vaccine was operationalized.”

The free clinics at Mercy cover a multitude of patient services including visits with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant to address urgent, medical screenings, lab tests, immunizations, referrals and follow-up care.

“The visitors to our Friendship Center are more likely to seek medical care here at Mercy because they are in familiar territory and don’t feel judged, and they trust us,” explained Renee McFadden, who knows and works with most all of the visitors as Mercy’s Monitor Supervisor.

David Mingolelli, PA-C, who heads up the clinic for the Hartford HealthCare Neighborhood Health team at Mercy, agrees saying, “We can’t do our job to treat people if they don’t trust us. Connecting and building a level of trust is the first step in helping people get the care they need.”

Mercy Housing’s clinics provided by Hartford HealthCare are offered the 4th Tuesday of every month from 9 – 3pm at the Friendship Center at 118 Main Street in Hartford.

For additional information or to request interviews or a tour of the Friendship Center, contact Annette Scheidecker at
860-808-2044 or