January 11, 2024
Everyone has a right to high quality health care.
That core principle animates the Moses/Weitzman Health System, the first health system in the United States dedicated to primary care.
And not just any primary care. This health system’s mission is broader and deeper than clinical services. By focusing on education, research, advocacy, and partnerships forged over time, Moses/Weitzman advances an integrated, interdisciplinary system of care with an emphasis on justice.
“Health care is always changing, and this new system will lead the way beyond the traditional four walls,” said Mark Masselli, president and CEO of the Moses/Weitzman Health System (MWHS). “We stand by our belief that to improve health systems, we must address many issues, and where appropriate, leverage new technology, as well as being present in our communities.”
As MWHS celebrates its first anniversary this month, it’s a time for looking back and looking forward.
The roots of this health system can be found in a free, one-room dental clinic, established in 1972 in Middletown, Connecticut, a small city on the banks of the Connecticut River. The clinic’s restless leaders imagined a place where anyone in their diverse community, including those with no income or insurance, could go for health care. The free clinic, Community Health Center, Inc., decades later became a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with a wide range of offerings (read more about that history here).
Today, the system is comprised of several parts, all with a national reach. The Weitzman Institute conducts research, education, and policy work. ConferMED, an eConsult service, helps patients gain access to much-needed specialty care through their primary care providers. The Consortium for Advanced Practice Providers accredits health care organizations to offer robust residency training experiences for new APRNs and physician associates. Continuing MWHS’s commitment to education as a transformative force in health care, the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement trains people to become certified medical assistants through a combination of online learning and continuous experience in real-world clinic settings. The Center for Key Populations specializes in caring for the most vulnerable among us, many of whom receive no health care at all: unhoused individuals, people with HIV/AIDS, people with substance use challenges, victims of domestic violence.
And the place where it began: Community Health Center, Inc. Still an FQHC rooted in its conviction that health care is a right, not a privilege, the health center provides primary care in over 150 locations to patients of all ages across Connecticut, offers numerous residencies for young health care professionals, and hosts continuing education for a national audience.
MWHS’s new interests include the intersection of human health and the environment/climate change, AI, rebuilding health care in the post-COVID era, addressing social isolation, and how to continue to embrace the most vulnerable populations.
Moses/Weitzman looks forward to the future as a time of continuing growth. In addition to expanding its programs across the U.S., MWHS is increasingly tapped for international work, including through the Center for Key Populations.
“We know that health encompasses environmental impact as well as all the social determinants,” he continued. “MWHS will travel new roads, learning along the way and defining how a primary health care system can build healthy families and communities.”