Mark Masselli, in conjunction with a few Wesleyan University students and community activities, founded Community Health Center, Inc. as a Free Clinic in 1972 and worked with the National Free Clinic Council based in San Francisco in promoting the development of free clinics across America.
Like most Free Clinics of its time, CHC’s early days saw limited public support, as community-organized health services were strongly opposed by the medical community and received little in the way of governmental support. With a personal commitment that health care is a right and not a privilege, Mark brought an entrepreneurial spirit to his non-profit organization, building a network of CHC sites that met the highest standard in both care and environment, to respect the dignity of those they serve.
Mark has played an important leadership role as a founding member of many health and human services initiatives in Middletown, including New Horizons Battered Women’s Shelter, Nehemiah Housing Corporation, and Oddfellows Youth Playhouse. In addition to local issues, Mark has worked on a range of international human rights issues. He has worked with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and has traveled in Tibet, Nepal, India and China working on the issues facing the Tibetan people. He also was active in 1980’s the development of the Bishop Tutu Refugee relief agency during the critical years fighting the apartheid system in South Africa. Mark is currently a board member and treasurer of the Goodspeed Opera House. He was appointed as a member of the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight as a representative of the business community with experience in cost efficiency management. In relation to that, he will also be serving on a standing subcommittee to study and make annual recommendations to the council on evidence-based best practices concerning Medicaid cost savings. Mark was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wesleyan University in 2009 for his work in the Health Care field.