Where can residents of the San Gabriel Valley access high-quality health care no matter their income?
At their local community health center – ChapCare! A group of Pasadena community residents, city officials, and health care agencies founded ChapCare in 1995 to establish primary healthcare services for low-income, uninsured residents. ChapCare began providing medical services in 1998 and dental services in 2001. Today, ChapCare is a network of federally funded community health centers with a mission to provide excellent, comprehensive, and innovative health care that is accessible to all residents of the San Gabriel Valley.
To fulfill this mission ChapCare operates 4 health centers in Pasadena, 1 health center in Monrovia, and 3 health centers in El Monte/South El Monte and provides 64,000 primary healthcare visits annually to over 15,000 patients. ChapCare much accept everyone who needs care and those who are low-income and uninsured pay based on their income. Thus, all our neighbors and friends in the San Gabriel Valley who are low-income, uninsured and/or undocumented have a safety net where they can receive high-quality care because ChapCare believes healthy people equal strong communities.
Providing healthcare services takes resources – lots of them! And now 70% of the federal funding for community health centers, like ChapCare, is in jeopardy. Without a fix to this funding cliff, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that more than 9 million patients living in rural and underserved areas will lose access to care.
On January 22, 2018, Congress passed a short-term spending package to end the shutdown and fund the government through February 8th. The good news is that legislation provided a six–year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which helps insure 9 million children across the country whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford private insurance.
The bad news is the package did not include any long-termfunding for community health centers, like ChapCare. Congressional representatives of both parties profess to support community health centers, but they have failed to prioritize them.
But what can we do?
I’m glad you asked! Your advocacy in support of community health centers will ensure that the over 15,000 patients who receive care from ChapCare annually will continue to access the services they need. The next opportunity for health centers to be funded is February 8th. Please call the free advocacy hotline – 866-456-3949 or go to www.hcadvocacy.org for an easy way to email your representatives before February 8th.
Finally, federal funds are becoming increasingly unreliable. Thus, gifts from caring individuals like you of any size will ensure patients continue receiving the care they need. To give, please visit https://chapcare.kindful.com/.
Emily Stork serves as Donor Engagement Manager for ChapCare. After attending Mount Holyoke College, she studied in Argentina as a Fulbright Fellow. From there, she started a career in Fundraising and Law. She is a graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and passed the California bar exam. She believes that excellent healthcare is a basic human right that should be available to everyone. She loves the greater Pasadena area and is thrilled to be using her fundraising and analytical skills to support access to the excellent, comprehensive and innovative healthcare that ChapCare provides throughout the San Gabriel Valley.