Sep 6, 2016

Addressing Healthcare’s Blindside in Albuquerque’s Southside by Joining Forces

Joining Forces grantee and Network Commons speaker, Michelle Melendez of First Choice Community Healthcare, explains how partnering with CDFIs can help a FQHC achieve it’s health equity goals.

The BUILD Health Challenge initiative stands apart from typical health grants for many reasons. It focuses on the non-medical factors that influence health . It puts community organizations in the driver’s seat of complex partnerships. But most of all, it recognizes that creating healthy communities often requires hard capital, not just program support. As a non-profit health care system with a vision for building a $22 million “wellness ecosystem,” we need the capital. The BUILD Health Challenge introduced us to the world of Community Development Financial Institutions and New Market Tax Credits. Our BUILD project, Addressing Healthcare’s Blindside in Albuquerque’s Southside, has always been about equipping healthcare providers and patients with tools to support health. This includes a referral and tracking system to connect patients to existing chronic disease self-management resources, such as healthy food and walking trails. But the existing resources are not enough. Our communities are food deserts and lack facilities and infrastructure. We need community development .

Our Patient-Centered Healthcare Home makes you feel welcomed and cared for by a team that:

  • Knows your health history and goals
  • Communicates effectively with you and with each other
  • Gives you appointments when you need them
  • Coordinates the complexity of labs, prescriptions, referrals and insurance

We go the extra mile to help our patients get help paying for their health care.

  • We assist with Medicaid applications
  • We help patients find insurance on the Marketplace
  • We enroll patients in special programs when they are eligible
  • We provide a discount for services based on family size and income

First Choice Community Healthcare is a 501 c3 non-profit, community-based health center system that provides access to quality, patient-centered, comprehensive health care to all people who need it -- regardless of ability to pay. We are a health center grantee under 42 USC 245b and a deemed Public Health Service employee under 42 USC 233 (g)-(n).



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