All photos by Christopher Rabago
WINSTED — It took more than six years for Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and Hartford HealthCare to plan and construct its new medical center at 80 South Main Street.
On Thursday, Jan. 21, the opening of the center was celebrated at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by town officials and representatives from Hartford HealthCare.
During the six years since the initial plans for the building were announced, in the summer of 2017, Northwestern Connecticut Community College finished construction on their Allied Health Center, which is right next to the new medical center.
Also, in November 2017, the state approved the affiliation between Hartford HealthCare and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.
The new medical center is now the home to the company’s emergency department, which operates from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The center will also offer diagnostic imaging, mammography, primary and specialty care, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, a LifeStar helicopter pad, and other various services that were previously offered at the Winsted Health Care Center service building on Spencer Street.
“In June 2019, when we broke ground here, it was a much different vista,” Brian Mattiello. Regional Vice President for Strategy and Community Development for Hartford HealthCare said at the Jan. 21 event. “Even though we had some renderings of this place, it didn’t quite convey this beautiful, functional building. This building exists to save lives and make lives better. This is a very special moment.”
Jeffrey Flaks, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hartford HealthCare, said that since its affiliation with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, the company has added sites for medical care to the Northwest Corner area, including new primary care sites in Litchfield and Torrington.
“Our mission and vision are to stay committed and focused on accessibility, affordability, and excellence,” Flaks said. “This facility represents everything we are working to do to transform health care and to bring emergency care closer to those who need it the most. Winsted Is a key corridor to Connecticut, and this building will be incredibly accessible, expanding primary care services to Winsted.”
Town officials speaking at the ceremony included Mayor Candy Perez and Town Manager Robert Geiger.
“This is important in our region,” Mayor Perez said. “Not only do we have a state of the art health care facility here, but we also have a community partnership with Hartford HealthCare and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. They have taken part in the Building Healthier Communities grant, which has helped our town significantly by allowing us to hire a social services coordinator. That person is helping people find access to healthcare, which is very important during this pandemic.”
“I have been familiar with the black humor about Winsted and its Main Street,” Town Manager Geiger said. “You can see now to this end of town, all the way down to the brewery at the other end of town, we are turning this all around. The black humor is gone and the community is coming back.”
Towards the end of the event, Hartford HealthCare presented donations to community organizations Friends of Main Street, and the Northwest Community College Foundation.
All photos by Christopher Rabago