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Norwalk's School Based Health Centers To Get $12K Donation

Dr. Robert Appleby, left, and his wife, Marjorie, started school-based health centers in Norwalk in 1994.
Dr. Robert Appleby, left, and his wife, Marjorie, started school-based health centers in Norwalk in 1994. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. -- The family of Dr. Robert E. Appleby will donate $12,000 to the School Based Health Centers named after him on Friday, Nov. 6, at Norwalk High School.

The donation will be part of the commemoration of 21 years of the health centers, and will be held at 10 a.m. The clinics provide free health care services to students who attend Norwalk public schools.

Dr. Appleby’s widow, Marjorie of Towson, Md. and their three children are the generous donors. Their children are Ellen Appleby of New York City, Carol Appleby-Vanko and her husband Dave of Towson, Md., and her son Dr. Robin Appleby and his wife Susan Hagan-Appleby of Brookfield.

Dr. Appleby died in 1995, one year after the Norwalk School Based Health Centers were founded.

Appleby served in the Army during World War II and took an aptitude test, in which he scored very high in the area of medicine. By chance, he was one of three people selected to attend medical school at Johns Hopkins. That opportunity enriched his life and provided him with the determination and spirit to provide support to the people of Norwalk.

He started a storefront clinic in South Norwalk at a time when most doctors were leaving the area because I-95 was being built. He also set up “Action Housing” where he built over 200 houses for low- to moderate-income families. He heard about school based health centers in Bridgeport and Stamford, and decided to start one in Norwalk.

Today the Dr. Robert E. Appleby School Based Health Centers serve over 2,200 students, provide over 7,500 medical or mental health care visits a year and are able to return 92 percent of students back to class on the same day. The program has grown substantially over the last 20 years.

Full medical and mental health services are offered in Norwalk’s three high schools; Norwalk High School, Brien McMahon High School and Briggs High School and mental health services only in Norwalk’s three middle schools; Nathan Hale Middle School, Ponus Ridge Middle School and West Rocks Middle School.

"“By providing easily accessible health care, school based health centers play a vital role in the health and well-being of our young people,” said Dr. Steven Adamowski, Superintendent, Norwalk Public Schools. “As a result of Dr. Appleby’s vision, thousands of students have already benefited from the comprehensive services available at Norwalk’s school based health centers. We are grateful to have the ongoing support of the Appleby family, and in partnership with the Human Services Council, we expect to continue expanding the availability of health services for our students."

The Dr. Robert E. Appleby School Based Health Centers are part of The Human Services Council, Inc. in Norwalk. HSC creates and fosters programs that educate, safeguard and empower the people of area communities.

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