While the saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words, the compelling photography featured in the Faces of Hope e-book may leave you speechless.
Faces of Hope: Celebrating Community Health Centers is a rich compilation of documented photographs that chronicles the stories of extraordinary people whose meaningful work makes community health centers a reality for millions of underserved Americans. The United Health Foundation and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) introduced Faces of Hope in 2009 to celebrate those important people and places that heal others, while empowering us to collaborate for the greater good.
The campaign comes at a time when the country’s focus is to reinvent the health care system so it works more effectively and provides quality coverage for more Americans. Community health centers play an integral role in serving the needs of individuals and families looking for health care.
More than 7,000 local, nonprofit, community-owned and federally supported community health center sites are sprinkled across the country and U.S. territories. They are located in both urban and rural communities where the needs of the uninsured are the greatest. Poverty, infant mortality and a shortage of practicing physicians are evident in these communities. And, two-thirds of health center patients are racial and ethnic minorities, compared to roughly a third of the U.S. population who are minorities.
See the Faces of Hope e-Book.
United Health Foundation has selected four outstanding community health centers that follow nationally-recognized standards of treatment for their patients, which are tailored to the unique needs of each community:
Congress Heights/Anacostia, Washington, D.C. – A partner since 2003, Unity Health Care, Inc., is Washington, D.C.’s largest non-profit provider of primary care, which serves a predominantly low-income, African-American community.
South Bronx, New York City – We’ve partnered with The Children’s Health Fund since 2004 to expand care in the South Bronx, known for a high prevalence of asthma and diabetes.
Overtown, Miami – This valued partnership established in 2004 with the University of Miami School of Medicine supports the Jefferson Reaves, Sr. Health Center serving a large, multicultural, low-income population in the historic black neighborhood of Overtown. The Foundation grants enable the center to offer services, such as nutrition, diabetes education and mental health.
New Orleans – Since 2006, our partnership with Daughters of Charity – St. Cecilia’s clinic continues to provide health services to the New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The clinic, along with area health centers, fills the void left by the now defunct, public Charity Hospital, which remains closed since Katrina.
Providing Essential Services
Community health centers are vital to many thriving communities because they offer a one-stop destination that provides a full range of allied health professionals – including doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, psychologist, nutritionists and physical therapists – among others. Their talents and skill set provide a wide array of quality health-promoting services and clinical interventions. The centers provide the same course of treatment and quality of care to all patients, regardless of their insurance status and ability to pay. Clinics accept both government and private insurance plans or offer service on a sliding fee, depending on what patients can afford.
The benefits go above and beyond traditional health care models. Research shows that community health centers can and do excel in terms of quality care and patient satisfaction. For example, studies published by George Washington University Medical Center researcher Sarah Rosenbaum indicted that community health centers provide quality health care that equals or exceeds care provided in the private sector.
In order to extend care to meet the needs of the growing numbers of uninsured and others for whom health care is inaccessible, community health centers need increased resources, money and support which include:
||Federal and local government funding
||Corporate and private philanthropy as well as donations from individuals;
||An expanded, well-trained workforce
||Support from the professional health community
To learn how you can get involved and do your part in your own community – no matter how big or small see How You Can Help