As of Nov. 1, the New Britain Health Department will have a new home.
After six years at 56 Hawkins St., it will move a few blocks over to the opposite side of the hospital to 88 Prospect St.
“The hospital has been really terrific letting us use this building at a nominal rental fee,” said Dr. Eugene Ciccone, New Britain Health Center Director. “The City has a vacant building on Prospect St., which was being initially used by HRA and the Friendship Center.”
The Prospect St. building has been redone with new rooms just for the health center using Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP) funds from the state.
“The amount of space is larger, but clinical and usable office space will be smaller as it is on one floor,” said Ciccone. “It will be convenient to have everyone on the same floor.”
Presently, the center is spread out on three floors. The new building does include a lower floor used for storage.
The City EMS building is located behind the center building on Arch St.
The biggest problem for the center may be parking. There will be three parking spaces on the street and up to 10 in a parking lot across the street that is not yet completed.
“Programs hopefully will stay the same,” said Ciccone. “We will take on the asthma program the hospital had to drop because of funding. We collaborate with the Hospital of Central Connecticut often. In fact, we will be able to expand some programs in the new building.”
The move has already begun slowly. The center may be closed Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 as the center moves. An Open House will take place some time in early November.
“The hope is that people know where we are located,” said Ciccone. “Prospect St. is parallel to Arch St.”
A sign will go up in front of the building to easily identify it as the health center.
The health center has various clinics seeing over 5,000 people a year.
It does everything from immunization clinics, flu shots, TB screenings, pregnancy testing, health education, STD clinics as well as diagnosing lead levels and inspecting restaurants.
“Our mission is to promote, protect and prevent,” said Ciccone. “We are a very clinical department which is very different than most health departments. Some public health people are not clinicians.”
“We do a lot of health education in the community and we’re involved in a lot of initiatives and collaboratives in other human service agencies in the community,” said Francine Truglio, nursing supervisor for the New Britain Health Department.
There are 4 full-time nurses, 3 full-time sanitarians (under supervisor Sergio Lupo), an administrative assistant and the health director in the department.
“The nursing and sanitarians are involved in various aspects and work together a lot,” said Ciccone.
Another addition, located behind the new health center, is a new public health vehicle purchased with emergency preparedness funds.
“It’s a trailer that is going to house equipment for an all hazards problem,” said Ciccone. “We can also store equipment and administer antibiotics from here.”
Previously, the department has no similar vehicle.
Vaccines and more could be stored in the trailer during an outbreak.
For more information about programs offered by the New Britain Health Department call 860-826-3464.