Regional Health Services

Two regional health agencies with headquarters in Branford rely on volunteers to provide support for their professional staffs. The East Shore Regional Health District serves the towns of Branford, North Branford and East Haven and oversees a wide variety of programs from inspecting beauty salons to monitoring mosquito populations to organizing emergency preparedness teams. Harbor Health Services provides a range of programs that help people with mental health or substance abuse problems find their way to recovery. It provides medical and psychiatric care and social and vocational rehabilitation. Clients from Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Madison, North Branford and North Haven are eligible for outpatient and/or residential programs.

   Both of these agencies maintain helpful and extensive websites which explain the scope and service of their programs. Both agencies offer interesting and rewarding opportunities for volunteers.

   Jim Monopoli, director of the ESDHD explains that an emergency preparedness team has been trained to handle public health emergencies resulting from bio-terrorism or pandemic illness. People with or without medical training are needed, on-going training is provided and periodic drills are held. More than two hundred volunteers have been trained in our tri-town district, and two hundred more are ready to serve in the Guilford/Madison area. According to Jim Monopoli this is “nowhere near enough!” A widespread disaster would require the help of all of these individuals, and more, to provide inoculations and transportation and to dispense information, antibiotics and other supplies. The Health District also holds fall flu clinics in which non-medical volunteers participate to register clients. Information about getting involved is on the website or just a phone call away.

   Another of East Shore’s services is the Senior Medical Ride Program. Volunteers use their own cars, are reimbursed for mileage and are covered by supplemental liability and medical expense insurance. Seniors who have not been able to find other transportation to medical appointments in the area from New Haven to Madison can call for a ride with one week’s advanced notice required. The autos and drivers are not trained or equipped to transport wheelchair bound patients. Volunteers often accompany patients to their appointments, wait to take them home and enjoy a quiet time of reading or knitting while waiting. ESDHD’s brochure states that “a few hours from a cheerful volunteer can make the difference between existing and living.” If you want to help make such a difference, you are needed!  Please contact coordinator Denise Smith.

   Harbor Health Services operates with a volunteer Board of Directors, some of whom have served more than twenty years. Committees help with public relations, development and event planning. Some volunteer help with filing and accounting projects would be appreciated. Volunteers are also needed to collect raffle items and bingo prizes for fundraising and social events. The clothing bank on Harrison Street is managed by Harbor Health and staffed by volunteers.

   A barbecue to celebrate Mental Health month is planned for May 29th from 3:00 – 5:00 at 13 Sycamore Way, Branford. Please contact Emily Gangi if you would like to help with cooking or serving.

East Shore District Health Department  14 Business Park Dr., Branford

            Director Jim Monopoli ­ 481-4233

            Transportation Coordinator, Denise Smith  481-4235

Harbor Health Services, 13 Sycamore Way, Branford

            Director of PR and Development, Emily Gangi   483-2667  X240

To access websites, simply search: ESDHD or Harbor Health Services

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