Staywell branches out in Naugatuck

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From left, Staywell Health Center Chief Financial Officer Lule Tracey, Ion Insurance President and CEO David Drescher, Staywell Health Center President and CEO Donald Thompson and U.S Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn, talk Oct. 13 during a ribbon cutting celebration at Staywell’s new Naugatuck office at 30 Church St. –LUKE MARSHALL
From left, Staywell Health Center Chief Financial Officer Lule Tracey, Ion Insurance President and CEO David Drescher, Staywell Health Center President and CEO Donald Thompson and U.S Sen. Christopher Murphy, D-Conn, talk Oct. 13 during a ribbon cutting celebration at Staywell’s new Naugatuck office at 30 Church St. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — With multiple offices in Waterbury, Staywell Health Center has expanded its footprint to Naugatuck.

Staywell Health Center opened an outpatient medical center at 30 Church St. in August. In addition to medical care, the center plans to begin offering dental care and therapy, Staywell Chief Development Officer Christine Bianchi said during an Oct. 13 ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new location.

“Instead of going to a doctor’s office, a dentist’s office and somewhere else for therapy it is all under one roof,” Bianchi said.

Staywell was started in 1972 in Waterbury, Bianchi said. It currently has nine different locations throughout Waterbury. The health center accepts insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, and works with people who are under-insured and uninsured, Bianchi said. The health center makes sure that people are able to obtain the treatment they need whether or not they are able to make an immediate payment, she said.

The Naugatuck location is the health center’s first office outside of Waterbury.

Bianchi said the health center chose to open an office in the borough because many of its patients are from Naugatuck.

“We had over 1,200 patients at our Waterbury sites that were Naugatuck residents. Right there we were aware there was a need for Naugatuck residents for a comprehensive and affordable community health center like Staywell,” Bianchi said.

Bianchi said the health center is working to adjust to its new community.

“Obviously Naugatuck is a much different community than Waterbury. It brings about its own unique challenges but also its own personality and culture and needs,” Bianchi said.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said the center adds to the variety of services people can find in downtown Naugatuck.

“I am excited, from a local level, that you are here on Church Street. We are doing a lot to revitalize Naugatuck and make Church Street better,” Hess said.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., thanked Staywell for opening a center in the borough, where there’s a need for it.

Murphy said there’s been an increase in Connecticut in the number of people who have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. However, that doesn’t mean they are able to get to doctors, he said.

“Having health care insurance doesn’t mean you have access to health care,” Murphy said. “To make this health benefit real we need facilities like this to start springing up in places like Naugatuck where we knew there was a need.”