31 May CHI Future Depends upon Community Support
Saving and improving lives is Community Health of South Florida’s (CHI) top priority. The organization was founded to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality healthcare. That mission should also be a top concern for Congressional leaders. Community Health Centers throughout the nation are calling on Congress to take action and pass the funding bill, which will allow CHI to continue serving low- to moderate-income communities.
If Congress doesn’t act by September 30th, CHI and thousands of other community health centers across the nation would be forced to scale back their services. The impact would hurt many patients who rely on CHI for their comprehensive care including: primary care, pediatrics, behavioral health, dental, vision, OB/GYN, urgent care, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy and more.
Nationwide, more than 28 million people depend on one of 1,400 Community Health Centers for health care. Closer to home, CHI served the needs of more than 82,000 patients in Monroe and Miami-Dade Counties last year.
CHI relies on federal funds to maintain its facilities, purchase supplies and pay its staff. That’s why it is critical that the community’s voice is heard throughout the Congressional halls of Washington, D.C. and beyond.
“We are asking for your help to make your voice heard. Reach out to your member of Congress and ask that your elected leaders support Community Health Centers by extending funding,” said Brodes H. Hartley, Jr., President and CEO of CHI. “Community Health Centers are a cornerstone of the nation’s health care system. We must have continued funding to respond to the community’s increasing health care needs.”
CHI has treated countless families, children, adolescents and elderly since its inception in 1971. The organization is committed to expanding access to care for all and to never turn any patient away regardless of their ability to pay.
“If the bills did not get passed, there would be a substantial impact to CHI,” said Peter Wood, CHI’s Director of Planning and Development. “Forty percent of our overall operating budget is made up of grants including federal, state and local government.”
CHI is committed to serving the needs of the community. That’s why it opened a Teaching Health Center in 2013 to address a physician shortage nationwide. This program remains successful with graduates from numerous disciplines including primary care, psychiatry and OB/GYN. Some have remained with CHI to work as physicians in community healthcare.
Beyond this, CHI provides hundreds of jobs, many of which are highly skilled. It’s economic impact to South Florida exceeds $140 million.
“There’s a great need for stable employment and decent paying jobs, especially in the Southern region of Miami-Dade County,” Wood said.
CHI encourages everyone to reach out to their member of Congress and express their support for Community Health Centers.