Community Health of South Florida is…

a nonprofit health care organization  providing affordable quality primary and behavioral health care services to the  residents of rapidly growing South Florida. CHI operates 11 state-of-the-art primary care centers and 31 school-based programs. All centers offer quality comprehensive primary and behavioral health care services. Our physicians are board certified or board eligible. Additionally, CHI is accredited by the Joint Commission and is accredited as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). CHI offers a “one-stop-shop” model where the organization and delivery of quality services are seamless, affordable, accessible and culturally sensitive

Our Funders

The Children's Trust
CHI Foundation
National Association
Prestige Health Choice
Health Connect
Florida Department of Children and Families
The Joint Commission
South Florida Behavioral Health Network, Inc.

Our Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission CHI

To deliver safe, accessible, compassionate and culturally competent quality health care services to the people of South Florida while training the next generation of health care professionals

Our Vision CHI

To become the health care provider of choice for the people in South Florida and a teaching center of excellence for health care professionals.

Our Values CHI

CHI is committed to and accountable for the following shared values:


  • Quality is defined as continuous improvement in all that we do.


  • Our patients come first and deserve to be treated in a considerate and kind manner to assure respect, dignity and quality service in meeting their health care needs.


  • Our employees are the greatest assets of our organization.


  • Positive contributions to the clinical and economic well-being of our community.

Seed planted by Doris Ison is still growing as CHI

It might have seemed like the odds were against an African-American woman with a third-grade education in the late 60s and early 70s. But Doris Ison, a tomato picker with an amazing ability to dream big, never let barriers deter her from anything.

“She was a strong speaker,” recalled her grandson, Brian Lucas. “She was not one that you would label as being shy. She was not afraid to open her mouth and talk. She just had that gift.”

So when Ison became fed up with the lack of access to medical care in South Dade, she set out to do something about it. Her quest would take her before the U.S. Congress and ultimately result in the creation of what is today Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI), a nonprofit health care company with 11 health centers and more than 30 school-based centers.

In the late 60s, Ison lived the problem firsthand in South Dade. Back then, African-Americans were not allowed to be treated at the nearest hospital in Homestead – the James Archer Smith Hospital, which is now called Homestead Hospital and part of Baptist Health.

“Black people couldn’t even go there for emergencies,” Ison told a South Dade News Leader reporter in 1976. “Black folks had to go all the way up to Kendall or Jackson. Even if they were bleeding to death they couldn’t stop at James Archer. Many of our people were born on the way to the hospital and many of them died.”

Ison went to the church community to ask doctors to help. She convinced several doctors to volunteer their time and work out of two double-wide trailers. It was a temporary solution to a gaping wound and Ison wasn’t prepared to stop until there was adequate health care for all.

Because Ison didn’t drive, she either walked or had her family drive her to where she needed and wanted to go, including numerous meetings and community outreach events. But one day on one of her walks, Ison encountered a group of migrant workers in the South Dade Labor Camps. Their children were sick with whooping cough and they didn’t have the means to go get medical care. In that moment, Ison decided to make sure her quest for health care included the migrants and many other indigent populations.

“She was always trying to find ways to make life better for others,” Lucas said. “She would do literally anything that needed to be done to try to make everyday things that people needed to be successful.”

That included lobbying federal legislators; a feat she also triumphed. Eventually CHI received federal funding after it was proclaimed a federally qualified health center. Even as the organization grew, Ison’s bravery and resilience was never forgotten. Its board of directors voted to name the main heath center after Ison in 1976. The act of gratitude brought Ison to tears.

“I hadn’t cried like that since I was six years old when I heard the schoolbell ring at Neva King and my mother told me I couldn’t go to school because I was black,” Ison said in 1976 when the building was named after her.

The community is indebted to Doris Ison for her vision and determination and persistence, said Col. Brodes H. Hartley Jr., President and CEO of CHI.

“People who have the will can overcome these perceived disadvantages if they commit to serving others and, of course, that’s what community health centers are all about,” he said.

On Feb. 27, 1974, Ison went to Washington, D.C., and spoke to the Special Committee on Aging before the U.S. Senate advising them about the elderly and transportation issues. She told them help was needed to get people to medical appointments. Transportation in South Dade was costly and sparse at the time. But she said CHI was making efforts to help.

“Since we have the CHI system they have mini-buses to service the migrant camps,” Ison told legislators, according to the Senate transcript.

And when Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., came to Miami in 1977, he made a point to visit CHI and meet with Ison.

“Before he came, my grandmother was real excited. My family was excited,” recollected Lucas, who was just 8 years old at the time of the visit. “You know I couldn’t understand what the big deal was. But, she took me with her and I’ll just never forget it. I had never seen so many cameras or reporters in my young life.”

Today Lucas looks back at the magnitude of that moment, recognizing its significance and the fortitude, determination and intelligence of his grandmother. The images of Ison and Kennedy together are forever burned into his memory.

“He and my grandma and others went to other areas of the facility and talked,” Lucas recalled. “I’m confident he got an earful.”

Hermine Pollard, Vice President of Enabling Services at CHI, remembers Ison’s persistence and passion as well.

“She was a very feisty person,” Pollard said. “Just the little answers she would give as if she didn’t take anything from anyone. She was very determined. She wasn’t rude… just said what had to be said.”

Ison continued to advocate for health care and CHI all the way up until her death at 81 years of age in 1989. Her spirit for advocacy was then carried on by the leaders of CHI entrusted with her legacy. This included her niece Carolyn Taylor Pates who went on to serve on CHI’s Board of Directors.

“I don’t know where she might would still be if she were still here today. But I’m sure she would be all smiles,” Pates said. “She definitely would be applauding Col. Hartley and the staff. With the teaching health center and all the other things that are being added, it’s overwhelming in an exciting way.”

Hartley, CHI’s President, also looks at Ison’s accomplishments as remarkable.

“She was a woman of great vision and determination, an activist within the community to improve and uplift the community of where she lived,” Hartley said.

Today Ison’s vision has grown into 11 health centers and more than 30 school-based health centers with comprehensive services and programs. The services include primary care, pediatrics, dental, women’s health, behavioral health, radiology, urgent care, pharmacy and laboratory. Ison’s quest for quality health care for all also now includes specialized programs for migrants, HIV/AIDs, cancer and more. CHI has implemented free transportation to and from appointments and extended its hours to include evenings and weekends.

Today it is no longer just a place for the indigent. Now uninsured and insured get quality health care from the Florida Keys all the way into South Dade and even up into Coconut Grove.

Decades ago Ison told this to the South Dade News Leader: “I just wish that people would stop calling CHI a ‘poor folks clinic’ and realize that it’s everybody’s clinic.”

Certainly she would be pleased with the progress the organization has made today all because she planted the seed in 1971.

“When we look at our early existence of this organization – the foundation that was established by Doris Ison – to where we are today with phenomenal growth, we can all be proud of our achievements,”

Hartley said. “We are here today because of Doris Ison’s fortitude.”

Make An Appointment with Community Health of South Florida Inc.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address, mailing address or other details to help you with your experience.

When do we collect information?

We collect information from you when you subscribe to a newsletter, fill out a form or enter information on our site.

How do we use your information?
We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:

• To personalize your experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content and product offerings in which you are most interested.
• To improve our website in order to better serve you.
• To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests.

How do we protect your information?
We do not use vulnerability scanning and/or scanning to PCI standards.
We use regular Malware Scanning.

Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. In addition, all sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
We implement a variety of security measures when a user enters, submits, or accesses their information to maintain the safety of your personal information.
All transactions are processed through a gateway provider and are not stored or processed on our servers.

Do we use ‘cookies’?
Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the site’s or service provider’s systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. For instance, we use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart. They are also used to help us understand your preferences based on previous or current site activity, which enables us to provide you with improved services. We also use cookies to help us compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.
We use cookies to:
• Help remember and process the items in the shopping cart.
• Understand and save user’s preferences for future visits.
• Keep track of advertisements.
You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser’s Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.
If you turn cookies off, some features will be disabled. It won’t affect the user’s experience that make your site experience more efficient and may not function properly.
However, you will still be able to place orders.

Third-party disclosure
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information.

Third-party links
We do not include or offer third-party products or services on our website.


Google’s advertising requirements can be summed up by Google’s Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users.

We use Google AdSense Advertising on our website.
Google, as a third-party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on our site. Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our users based on previous visits to our site and other sites on the Internet. Users may opt-out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google Ad and Content Network privacy policy.
We have implemented the following:
• Remarketing with Google AdSense
We, along with third-party vendors such as Google use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to compile data regarding user interactions with ad impressions and other ad service functions as they relate to our website.
Opting out:
Users can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Settings page. Alternatively, you can opt out by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page or by using the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser add on.
COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)

When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States’ consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.
Fair Information Practices
The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.

In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:

We will notify you via email
• Within 7 business days
We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
We collect your email address in order to:
• Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions
To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at
and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.

Contacting Us
If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below.
Address: 10300 SW 216th St.
Miami, Florida 33190
United States
(305) 253-5100
Last Edited on 2017-02-18