WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) announced a $525,000 grant today that will help the Norwalk Community Health Center (NCHC) purchase a medical/dental van. The van will bring medical, dental, mental health, and substance abuse services to Norwalk’s homeless population and residents of public housing, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Bringing health and dental care directly to the homeless and other individuals who can’t afford to visit a traditional doctor means better and more timely health care for them and lower costs for us all,” Himes said. “The Norwalk Community Health Center does impressive work providing care to those who would otherwise go without, and they should be commended for their efforts.”

The funding for NCHC’s new medical/dental van was awarded through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s New Access Point grant program. Physicians, nurse practitioners, a dental hygienist, and a social worker will staff the van, which will operate five days a week and be fully equipped with NCHC’s electronic medical records system, telephone communications, blood drawing station, and medical and dental equipment.

“The health center staff and its Board of Directors are thrilled to contribute in this way to Mayor Richard Moccia’s ten-year plan to end homelessness in Norwalk and to collaborate with the Norwalk Housing Authority to bring services directly to the patient’s home location,” said NCHC CEO Lawrence Cross. “Mobile access to services, anywhere within city limits, should reduce unnecessary and expensive visits to the hospital emergency department and overcome existing barriers to care while improving overall outcomes for patients with chronic conditions.”