Lower Naugatuck Valley 2000

Project Two - Project Co-N-E-C-T

2A. Briefly describe the second main project (Project Two) that has significantly impacted the community since 1997.


Five thousand residents, 5% of the population, are having their health assessed and are being connected to needed services under a unique project sponsored by Griffin Hospital in partnership with HV2000 and sixteen community organizations. Project Co-N-E-C-T is a Valley-wide effort to assess the Community’s Need for Evaluation, Care and Treatment and Co-N-E-C-T people to needed services. The goal is to improve the health of residents by identifying and lowering the risk of preventable illness through improved access to needed services, health education, prevention and wellness programs. The project includes a cross section of residents. A target group is the community’s medically underserved population. Health Risk Assessments produce a personal and community health profile of individuals surveyed. Each person surveyed and their doctor receives a report which identifies their health and lifestyle status and needs. An aggregated report will guide future program development. A component is to identify people without a family doctor or primary care source and people with medical risks and connect them to services. Need categories are: lack of a primary care source, mammography and cervical cancer screening, colon and prostrate cancer screening, childhood immunizations, alcohol/drugs/tobacco education and treatment. There is no charge for the program.


2B. What prompted the community to undertake this project?


Three Valley towns have been designated as medically underserved by the federal government. A Community Profile identified these health problems as higher than state rates: youth substance abuse, lung and colon cancer in men, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer in women, non-medical deaths and mammography screening. Only 20% of Medicare covered women had mammograms and ovarian and uterine cancer rates are 25% and 9% above state rates. Data showed unusually high use of the Emergency Department and 30% of residents without primary care. Resources were identified to develop a network of service providers to assist residents that lacked financial resources.


2C. What significant impacts has this project had on the community? Include quantifiable results as well as changes in the way the community confronts critical local issues.


This is the largest community health project ever undertaken. It has required trust, collaboration and commitment. Sixteen organizations, equal partners, all committing in-kind resources. A community foundation provided a $37,500 grant for materials and a coordinator. Each assessment takes 40 minutes, or 3,300 hours to complete the 5,000 assessments. Based on a $25/hour salary cost, in-kind services are valued at $82,500. Agencies administer health assessments as part of their normal duties. Additional in-kind services include public relations, printing and clerical. A Community Health Resource Guide was published and distributed. The Valley Parish Nurse Program has made more than 900 house calls in a neighborhood outreach program. Over 2,200 assessments have been completed. Over 500 people have been referred to health and human service agencies. Survey results are provided to the individual and their personal physician who provides follow-up care. Aggregate survey results show community residents to be above the nation’s ideal weight, needing education and screening regarding blood pressure and prostate cancer. To expand these outreach efforts, the Mobile Health Resource Center, a 29-foot Winnebago, was launched in September of 1999. Since that time, over 900 contacts have been made in the mobile unit resulting in 278 referrals for care.


2D. What attempts were made to involve the citizens directly affected by the projects in program development and to what extent were they successful? How were diverse segments of the population involved in the decision-making process? What general difficulties were encountered?


The project originated from the Stakeholders of HV2000 and is reviewed regularly by that citizen group indicating there has been consistent grassroots involvement. The sixteen partner agencies represent different constituencies, including: anti-poverty agency, mental health agency, visiting nurses, community minority agency and the Health Department. Each agency discusses the program design with their respective staffs, which results in broad input. The Valley Parish Nurses piloted the program for nine months in both church settings and door-to-door outreach efforts reaching over 900 people. The process and model that has resulted is a high quality effort that will achieve the program goals. There have been no major difficulties other than the pressure of the process and development time with everyone anxious to achieve program goals. Cooperation has been high with additional partner agencies requesting to be part of the project.


2E. For Project 2, list up to five principal groups and organizations involved. Briefly summarize their contribution to the project.


Name Contribution

  • Griffin Hospital Project development, management & in-kind services to do assessments

  • Valley Parish Nurse Project development and in-kind services to do assessments

  • VNA of South Central CT. Inkind services to complete assessments

  • Healthy Valley 2000 Staff to market the project and complete assessments

  • Ansonia Community Action Inkind services to complete assessment


2F. For Project 2, identify three individuals who were active leaders. (Include leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors).


Name/Title Organization/Address Telephone


Dr. David Katz Griffin Hospital

Assoc. Dir. Preventive Medicine 130 Division St., Derby, CT 06418 203/735-7421



Daun Barrett, Coordinator Valley Parish Nurse Program 203/732-7589

c/o Griffin Hospital

130 Division St., Derby, CT 06418


Karen Spargo Naugatuck Valley Health District 203/924-9548

470 Howe Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

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