NEW BRITAIN - Community Mental Health Affiliates President and CEO Raymond Gorman called former Gov. Dannel Malloy a champion as the organization unveiled a plaque in its outdoor area in honor of Malloy at their open house Friday morning.
“Every once in a while you can have all the vision, all the mission, all the purpose and all the good ideas, but you need a champion and I’m going to introduce you to the CMHA champion,” Gorman said, referring to Malloy.
Gorman spoke about the ways in which Malloy has supported CMHA’s growth, including when “in 2018 Gov. Malloy absolutely championed” authorizing the $3 million bond that allowed the organization to purchase its new building at 233 Main St.
“The governor’s generosity, the management team and board’s ingenuity, the contributions from foundations, private givers, it truly is a truly 50-50 partnership because the total price tag of this building as renovated now is about $6 million,” Gorman said. “The state provided three, we raised the other three, so it’s the best partnership you can have.”
Malloy said his mother was a public health nurse and he grew up with an appreciation for public service.
“I tell that story because I think I grew up understanding that that was an obligation that perhaps in some way I needed to follow up on myself,” he said. “We should also remember that Connecticut has always been a leader in mental health. How does this circle back together? It’s you. It’s the people that decided to dedicate themselves to the welfare of a community by making sure that all of us are as healthy as we can be.”
The open house started with some speeches and the unveiling of the plaque, followed by a guided tour of the renovated building. CMHA recently completed the renovations of the third and fifth floors, leaving the first floor as the last of CMHA’s building that still needs renovations. The first floor will include a branch of Beacon Prescriptions which is expected to be operational by the fall.
Four guided tours of CMHA took place throughout the morning on Friday.
Todd DeGroff, chairman of the CMHA board of directors, said the new facility allows CMHA to serve more people at lower cost.
“We are also more accessible to clients,” DeGroff said. “We bought this building in September, moved in in December, renovated the fifth floor and opened it to clients in February and now we are opening the third floor to clients. That’s a phenomenal turnaround time. Congratulations to Ray and his team for making this happen.”
Mayor Erin Stewart; Christine Lau, assistant chief of child welfare at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families; Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; and Hunter Mathena, CMHA’s board treasurer; were among the speakers.
To learn more about CMHA, visit cmhacc.org or call 860-826-1358.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or email@example.com.