Thursday, December 1, 2011 was an amazing day in the history of Esperanza Health Center! On a crisp early winter day with bright sunshine, Esperanza staff members, friends and many community residents joined to celebrate the grand opening of Esperanza’s new Hunting Park Health and Wellness Center, located at 4417 N. 6th Street in Philadelphia.

The opening of this facility was a testimony to God’s extravagant grace. From the initial federal grant from HRSA that funded the facility’s construction, to the over 40 new staff members who have joined Esperanza in the past several months, to many other answered prayers — God has demonstrated his goodness and faithfulness to us!

The morning of the event, Esperanza’s staff members were joined by special guest Dr. John Perkins, founder of the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development and a leader in Christian community development for many years, for a time of worship and prayer to dedicate the new facility (photo, L). The day continued as guests arrived for the celebration, which included tours of the new facility and the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the faciliy’s gymnasium.

As executive director Susan Post shared in her remarks: “With this new building, Esperanza continues to commit ourselves to the overall health of those in North Philadelphia in need of a medical home. Our hope, our esperanza, is that everyone in North Philadelphia will have access to adequate, affordable medical care. This building will help us to make our hope a reality.”  Others who participated in the ceremony included local pastors Rev. Dr. Manuel Ortiz, Rev. Fred Estrada and Rev. Raul LeDuc, and speakers Dr. Ronald Sider of Palmer Theological Seminary, Dr. John Perkins, Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez and Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

Friday, December 2,  was also a great day for Esperanza — we opened our doors to the first patients to be served at the Hunting Park facility! (photo, R) We’re excited about the new health and wellness initiatives planned for the new facility in 2012, include healthy cooking seminars, group fitness classes, recreational sports and activities in the new gymnasium, and health education classes. We’d love to give you a tour of the new facility if you are in or near Philadelphia, or just visiting! Please contact Ted Voboril at or at (215) 302-3600, ext. 327.

If you’d like to make a year-end donation to support the ministry of Esperanza Health Center, including support for new health and wellness initiatives and care for our uninsured patients, please click here.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support — best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2012!