News, Events & Press

IMPACT: Making a Difference in Our Communities

IMPACT: Making a Difference in Our Communities

Community Mental Health Affiliates receives $2.625 million grant to help reduce opioid use among homeless, those at-risk

CMHA has received a $2.625 million, five-year grant to expand access to treatment and reduce opioid use among homeless, at-risk populations in #Bristol and #NewBritain! The funds will support CMHA's IMPACT (Intensive MAT Person Approach Community Treatment) initiative, which will provide services through three local shelters: The Friendship Service Center and Salvation Army in New Britain as well as St. Vincent DePaul Mission shelter in Bristol.

Mural on 4th meeting room'“As the rate of overdose in our area continues to climb, particularly at our local shelters, and more individuals struggle with job loss and homelessness following the pandemic, this funding is needed now more than ever,” said Grace Cavallo, CMHA chief program officer. “This collaborative program will most certainly save lives.”'

Read More in The New Britain Herald:

According to CMHA, in Central Connecticut the overdose rate has increased 61% over the past five years, and the number of homeless individuals has nearly doubled in the past year alone. IMPACT will address both issues with a coordinated community approach.

“I believe outreach is a vital piece to ending homelessness. Relationship brings trust and trust evokes change, especially those who are homeless and suffering from opioid addiction,” said Christine Thebarge, executive director, St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol. “We are thrilled that CMHA received this grant and we have the ability to partner with this organization.”

CMHA Recognized by Workers Compensation Trust

CMHA Recognized by Workers Compensation Trust

Worker's Compensation Trust Recognizes CMHA

WC Trust Plaque w MG SL and RJGCMHA has been a member of The Workers’ Compensation Trust of Connecticut since 2001. Recently, on behalf of the agency, Chief Human Resources Officer Shawn Lewinson, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Mary Gilhuly, and CMHA President & CEO Raymond J. Gorman received a plaque from The Trust commemorating CMHA’s longtime membership and involvement.

“We have enjoyed working with the Trust over the last 20 years to manage risk, control costs, and of course provide excellent service to our employees.” said Shawn Lewinson, Chief Human Resources Officer.

The Workers’ Compensation Trust is a comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance program designed to meet the unique needs of the Connecticut healthcare and human service industries. The Trust was formed in 1981 for the sole purpose of providing a cost-effective alternative to the traditional insurance market for healthcare and human service employers in the State. Membership consists of over 450 employers representing over 60,000 employees in the healthcare industry.

Recovery Month at CMHA

Recovery Month at CMHA

Let's Get Real, Let's Talk Recovery

 While CMHA champions #Recovery all year long, we make a special effort during September: National Recovery Month.

Overdose Vigil in Walnut Hill ParkEarly in the day on August 31, CMHA was invited by Senator Richard Blumenthal to join the Connecticut Harm Reduction Alliance's 'call to action' overdose awareness event in Hartford.

Mary Gilhuly, Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President attended, as did Molly Satalino, Assistant Clinical Director who spoke at the event to highlight the importance of behavioral health services and community support in fighting back against the ongoing opioid epidemic. Thank you for speaking and representing the agency at this important event!

CMHA also participated in the Overdose Awareness Vigil in Walnut Hill Park, New Britain. The event, initiated and championed by Czes Dzierlatka, Lead Peer Recovery Coach reminded our community that you are not alone and Recovery is not only possible, it’s real.

Thank you to the event organizers, New Britain Parks and Recreation Department, NBRecovers, and all partner agencies for making the evening so impactful. We'd like to give a special thank you to Czes Dzierlatka, Lead Peer Recovery Coach for speaking at the event and leading his colleagues and community members in the memorial lantern release at the event's conclusion.


Faith Based Orgs Recovery 9.16.2021Also in September, Assistant Program Officer Chris Porcher facilitated a virtual panel discussion on "Faith Based Organizations' Impact on Recovery."

Porcher was joined by Michele Stewart-Copes of SEET Consultants, Pastor Sam Blanks from Spottswood AME Zion Church, Dr. Michael D. Bailey of The First Cathedral, and Tim Feeney, Certified Recovery Coach. Their discussion focused on the role faith-based organizations have in reducing the stigma surrounding behavioral health and addiction within our diverse communities.

September Staff Spotlight



Molly Satalino, Assistant Clinical Director

A stellar Ambassador for CMHA, Molly continuously advocates for the agency and furthers our involvement with the community. Recently recognized as a "Living Legend" by the Consolidated School District of New Britain, she also continues to represent CMHA within the ongoing New Britain Recovers initiative with aplomb. Congratulations, Molly!


Tanya Banas, Assistant Program Officer

Tanya Banas has played an integral role in maintaining services across the agency, especially IOP and AOP, during the course of the pandemic. Tanya advocates for staff, cultivates agency talent, and finds countless ways - both big and small - to boost morale and have a little fun, all while keeping her team informed. Thank you so much for all you do ,Tanya!


Sol Karnuk, Practice Manager

For nearly 15 years, Sol Karnuk's fast-paced, indomitable work ethic and supportive leadership have helped shape CMHA's client-facing services. Never one to be caught standing still, Sol is a resource to staff across the agency. Just recently, she helped realize the new, centralized CMHA Call Center that will increase accessibility and streamline our intake process. For this and all you do every day: Thank you, Sol!

August Staff Spotlight 2021

August Staff Spotlight 2021



Chris Marino, Clinical Director

For his significant contributions to the community, Chris Marino, Clinical Director was recently nominated as a "Living Legend" of New Britain. The Consolidated School District of New Britain invited Chris to be interviewed by their Grade K-3 summer students, where he discussed his work, hobbies, and involvement in the community. Well done, Chris!


Dawn Zabek, Clinical Director I

The pandemic continues to impact how we provide services and manage our programs - especially those for children and families. Dawn Zabek, Clinical Director I in Waterbury has wonderfully handled numerous changes and challenges, working tirelessly to ensure that our clients and their families continue to receive the best care possible. Kudos to you, Dawn!


Maria Torres, Residential Monitor

CMHA's Residential staff provide around-the-clock care to some of our most vulnerable clients, and helping them cope with the ongoing pandemic has not been easy. Maria Torres, Residential Monitor at Harvest House has a unique way of engaging residents, and is able to reach even the most challenging clients 'where they're at'. Maria, you truly care about their well-being, and it shows every day. Thank you, Maria!



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