CHC Goes Grimm for Health Center Week

"The Ordinary Extraordinary Town and the Time of the Terrible Typical Trouble," written by the founder of KidCity Museum in Middletown, recounts how, 40 years ago, local activists and Wesleyan University students began a free health care clinic.

is marking National Health Center Week with the release of an animated fairy tale about CHC’s establishment in Middletown 40 years ago, as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers as local solutions. 

“Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a town where the people worked to make it the very best place to live. There were schools and stores and homes, and most of the time, the people were very happy. But they had one problem…There weren’t enough doctors to take care of everyone when they got sick. And sometimes, people didn’t have enough money to get help when they needed it.”

"The Ordinary Extraordinary Town and the Time of the Terrible Typical Trouble" is a story about how 40 years ago, a group of Middletown activists and students from came together, inspired by the idea that "Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege," to start a free health care clinic to help their friends and neighbors.

Through tremendous support and encouragement from the local community, in four decades Community Health Center has grown to over 200 locations, serving more than 130,000 patients statewide.


“When we started this project, we thought how do we spread the message about what we’ve been doing over the last 40 years while engaging young people and inspiring them?

"This story is a way that we can reach out to the youth of America with a simple proposition that if we all work together we can really make a difference in our own community,” said Mark Masselli, president and CEO of Community Health Center, who narrates the story on the video.

“When we started planning the 40th anniversary for Community Health Center, we were thinking a lot about how it got started, and the people who came together around a need in their community, inspired to make a difference, to me was like a fairytale,” said Jen Alexander, author of the fairytale and founder of in Middletown.

“The fact that they had been able to achieve what they wanted and made a difference for their friends and neighbors is a dream come true.”

“We wanted to tell the story of Community Health Center, but didn’t want it to look like every other video that tells the history of its organization,” said Paul Mayer, Producer of the fairytale and Vice President of Marketing and Communication for CHC. 

“We felt that animation would be a great way to cut through the clutter and appeal to all ages.” 

The three minute-long animation was created by FableVision, of Boston.

“Our mission at FableVision is to find kindred spirits who are trying to change the world and who understand that the power of storytelling can truly change the world,” said Paul Reynolds, CEO of FableVision. “This particular approach to using storytelling, that was a nod to School House Rocks, to make it more of a kids story is brilliant because we know that type of storytelling is very accessible and can do more emotional heavy lifting that a PowerPoint could ever do.”

The theme of this year’s National Health Center Week is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Powering Healthier Communities,” to underscore how community health centers provide access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States, and CHC has timed the release of their fairytale to help drive home this message in a creative way.

Community Health Center will be distributing a story book and coloring book version of the fairytale to school systems throughout Connecticut this fall, in an effort to teach impressionable minds that they can make a difference in their community and to inspire the next generation of community leaders, health care providers and thought leaders to carry on the mission of community health centers across the nation. 

To watch the animation, and a special “making of” documentary, please visit www.chc1.com and click on the Terrible, Typical Trouble banner on the home page.


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