Private Giving Saves Lives - The Impact of Supporting Wheeler's Community Health Centers

Donors want to see how their generosity makes a direct impact on improving someone's life. There are few ways to more directly help individuals in our care than through a donation that supports Wheeler's Family Health & Wellness Centers.

Some recent examples of private giving at work, saving lives and keeping Connecticut healthier...

BASIC NEEDS FUND - Direct Support for Patients

Wheeler's Basic Needs Fund addresses environmental and social factors that interfere with a patient’s health and well-being, but which are not addressed by other means of funding. The fund allows our community health workers, some supported themselves by private donors like the Mott Corporation, to address environmental conditions that might lead to poor health outcomes. Your donation provides for the supports and services that insurance and other funding doesn’t…a new mattress for a child with asthma who sleeps on a filthy bed each night, or a taxi ride for a mom who can’t easily take her children on the bus to an appointment.

This fund is entirely supported through private giving, from direct gifts, to proceeds of our Wheeler Golf Classic, presented by Mutual of America, and the generosity of partners like Mott, who recently helped stuff 1,000 bags of personal care items for patients in need during the pandemic!

The fund provides resources to address basic needs such as: food, transportation, clothing, shelter, medications, or other items or activities that cannot be accessed through a patient's own resources and/or community-based programs.

The real stories are unrelenting.

  • A man was being seen for suboxone treatment, group treatment, and primary care services at our Hartford location. He was facing financial difficulties due to missing work as he focused on his recovery and treatment, and he had some immediate needs that included oil to heat his home. Through your support, we were able to purchase 100 gallons of oil.
  • A mom had recently left a family violence situation with her two children, leaving quickly to stay with family and friends. She works part-time, but had a need for clothing, jackets and boots for her children. Thanks to you, we were able to purchase jackets, seasonal clothing, and sneakers for the children.
  • A patient who is homeless had their cell phone stolen while staying in a shelter, and they do not qualify for assistance in receiving a phone, which is a lifeline for help, support and daily living. Because of your support, the basic needs fund was used to purchase a low-price phone and some pre-paid minutes.
  • A mother of three got a job offer but couldn't pay for transportation to and from work before she received her first pay check. With your generosity, we were able to purchase a bus pass for her.
  • A family lost all of their personal items in a fire. Donors like you allowed us to purchase toiletries and personal items for them.

NUTRITION PROGRAMMING Keeping kids and families healthy

The nutrition program launched in 2018 with the opening of the Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center in Hartford, and accelerated in 2019, thanks to the support of the Corsini and Brantner families, as well as a matching gift campaign in honor of former President and CEO Susan Walkama, LCSW, which was spurred on by an anonymous $25,000 matching gift challenge that ended up raising more than $60,000 for nutrition programming!

An on-staff nutritionist serves on Wheeler’s integrated care team, assisting patients with diet, diabetes management, nutrition counseling, and more. In addition, a children's nutrition program attracts patients and their families for interactive cooking demonstrations and lessons in healthier recipes, addressing food allergies, and related topics. Wheeler also works in partnership with Holcomb Farm of West Granby in their Fresh Access program, which provides tons of farm-fresh vegetables a year to Wheeler patients, many of whom do not have access to affordable, accessible fresh produce near where they live.


Wheeler has received sustained volunteer support and funding from Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, Inc. to address the oral health needs of children and families in Greater Hartford. A Delta grant helps Wheeler’s dental team to deliver a full array of on-site family dental services and engage patients in oral health education and active participation in dental care.

In addition, parents and family members of loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have many concerns, from finding appropriate educational supports, to accessing housing, health care, and more. A new collaboration between Wheeler and Harc, Inc. will help to relieve one of the burdens for Hartford residents with IDD: accessing person-centered, compassionate dental care. The Wheeler-Harc Dental Collaboration, made possible through a one-year $50,000 S.M.I.L.E. Grant from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, will serve low-income residents of all ages with IDD, including autism, through Wheeler’s community health center at 43 Woodland Street and specialized linkages to care in the community.


Residents in the Waterbury region will have easier access to a lifesaving medication used to reverse overdoses, thanks to the American Savings Foundation and Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Center community health center in the Brass City. The Foundation has awarded Wheeler a $2,000 grant to purchase and provide Naloxone (NARCAN®). Used with medication-assisted treatment for addiction (MAT), individual and group therapies, and integrated primary care provided in Waterbury, NARCAN is a vital tool for individuals and families who come to Wheeler for addiction treatment, a key service in the organization’s continuum of care.

The Wheeler Family Health & Wellness Center is now located at 855 Lakewood Road, Waterbury. Wheeler will match the grant 1:1, providing NARCAN for residents and families who may not otherwise have access.


Our donors have funded so much more at our community health centers--from services for children, to PPE that keeps our staff safe. We couldn't possibly thank them all enough. Please consider making a gift in honor of National Health Center Week to support Wheeler’s Family Health & Wellness Centers.



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