ESPERANZA HEALTH CENTER BREAKS GROUND AND DEDICATES NEW KENSINGTON HEALTH CENTER
Contact: Ted Voboril, (215) 807-8614, email@example.com
Philadelphia, PA, September 6, 2018 – City and state officials, development partners and community members joined Esperanza Health Center today in breaking ground and dedicating its new health center to be built in Philadelphia’s Kensington community. A prominent four-story, 35,000 square foot former bank building located at 861 East Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia will be transformed into a state-of-the-art healthcare facility that will provide comprehensive primary medical care, dental care, behavioral health care and many integrated services in a medically-underserved area. A parking structure with 95 spaces will be built adjacent to the new health center.
In his remarks, Mayor James Kenney spoke about the significant impact that this project will have by expanding access to affordable health care for Philadelphians: “This new health center will benefit the entire neighborhood by expanding access to much-needed medical services in a brand new, modern facility,” said Mayor Kenney. “I want to thank Esperanza and all members of the Kensington community who helped make this project a reality.”
The new health center, which will replace Esperanza’s current site at 3156 Kensington Avenue, is projected to open in the spring of 2019. When at full capacity, the center will provide a “medical home” to 11,900 patients from Kensington and surrounding neighborhoods, through over 44,000 patient visits annually. A new healthy foods Café and community meeting/event space will provide unique, welcoming venues that are open to all community residents, and are aligned with current neighborhood revitalization efforts in the Kensington and Allegheny corridor. The new health center will retain 80 FTE jobs from Esperanza’s current Kensington site, and will create 27 FTE jobs in an economically-distressed community
“Motivated by Christian faith, we work from the perspective of God’s love and value for each patient,” said Susan Post, Esperanza’s Executive Director. “We are excited to invest in the health of this community and hope to be an anchor organization in the continued revitalization of Kensington. This project will allow us to provide high quality primary health care and dental care to thousands of additional families as well as contribute to the overall health of the community through job creation, health education and promotion, and community partnerships.”
Many state and local government agencies, financial institutions and other organizations have played a key role in the development of this project. These partners include: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Budget; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health; City of Philadelphia, Department of Commerce; PNC Bank; Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC); Capital Fund; OmniVest Properties Management LLC; Brawer Hauptman Architects; KSS Architects; and, Target Building Construction, Inc. In addition, Esperanza Health Center has partnered with and relied on input from numerous non-profit organizations, churches and agencies in Kensington and surrounding communities throughout the development process.
The health center project is the first phase in the creation of Esperanza Health Center’s new health and wellness campus in Kensington. During phase two, a community health and wellness center with a complete exercise center and conference center/community space will be built on an open lot adjacent to the new health center.
About Esperanza Health Center
Founded in 1989, Esperanza Health Center (www.esperanzahealth.com) is a faith-based, federally-qualified health center serving 14,600 patients through over 60,000 visits annually from its three sites located at 3156 Kensington Avenue, 2940 N. 5th Street and 4417 N. 6th Street in Philadelphia. Comprehensive, bilingual services include primary adult and pediatric medical care, dental care, behavioral health care, women’s and prenatal care, comprehensive HIV care, social services, nutrition counseling, and community health and wellness initiatives including nutrition and fitness programs. For more information about Esperanza Health Center, please visit our website at www.esperanzahealth.com or call (215) 807-8614.
National Health Center Week is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. This year’s theme was Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Health Care Heroes…and at Esperanza Health Center, we celebrated some of our very own Health Care Heroes. Read below to learn how each of our Heroes are helping to bring health and hope to our patients and our North Philadelphia community!
Ana Lapp, RN serves as the Nurse Care Coordinator & Data Manager for Esperanza and our community.
“It is a joy and a privilege to serve Jesus by loving the brothers and sisters that I meet every day here at Esperanza.”
Meet Sasha Rivera! She diligently serves Esperanza by being our Call Center Supervisor.
“There’s not a moment that God hasn’t loved us. For those of us walking in his path, we know this. But there are people in these communities that we serve that don’t. Working at Esperanza we are able to share that overwhelming love of God with others through what we do and how we do it. Being able to help others through their physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We are able to go into these dark areas and shine a light. Being of service at Esperanza to me means to get down and lift others up, to give without expecting anything in return, but best of all to work on showing others their worth in Christ. A lot of people in this community have helped shaped me into who I am today, this is just my way of paying it back.”
As Assistant Director of Community Health and Wellness, Rachel Kim consistently steps outside the four walls of the clinic to love our community well.
“I love how we get to work as a team – coworkers, patients, community members and partners – each with different stories but working together to make a difference in ourselves, our families, neighborhood and community. None of us can do it on our own, but all of us have the privilege and joy of doing it together!”
Sandra Lopez, RN faithfully serves through her role as Head Nurse and is one of our Health Care Heroes at Esperanza!
“Albert Einstein once said, ‘How many people are trapped in their everyday habits: part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we’re living.’ I choose to serve and to love! Esperanza is comprised of servants seeking to be available, to come alongside and share the moments of happiness and sorrow, the trials and the victories, as well as the holistic healthcare needs of the community that Jesus Christ has called us to serve, as we find ourselves bound by His example. It is in the sharing God’s bountiful provision of grace, mercy, and unconditional love that I found the most important by-product of serving this community through Esperanza; faith in El Shaddai, the all sufficient God, and the indescribable joy of sharing His love with others.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Another of our Health Care Heroes is Stephanie Stanford. She serves as the Secretary of Esperanza’s Board of Directors, is one of our Community Health Promoters and volunteers in many other ways.
“Esperanza Health Center’s heart for the community really shines through. Programs like Community Health Promoters, the senior program Young At Heart, child literacy sessions and exercise classes are held regularly. They’ve also hosted Youth Groups, Community Arts Programs and Doula classes. There’s something here for all of us!”
Tabitha Miller, RD, LDN, CDE is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator, and she utilizes her gifts well as she walks alongside our patients as they seek better health!
“The longer I work at Esperanza, the more I realize the impact that this work has had on me personally, professionally and spiritually. I am not the same person I was when I started in the 2006. I have grown professionally in ways I never would have imagined previously. My view on the world, humanity, healthcare, and especially on what it means to love my neighbor has evolved and become more in line with what God says in His Word. I appreciate that Esperanza has not compromised on its mission over the years, and I am so grateful that I can be a part of that mission.”
Meet Cyndi Diaz! She is a devoted Medical Assistant and cares deeply for her patients.
“I did not grow up with my dad and when I began to develop a relationship with him as a young woman, he died two weeks later. I often think about what more I could have done for him? In my work at Esperanza, I feel that I love my dad through caring for my patients. I laugh and cry with them and we share our life stories. Their energy—good or bad—gives me life and purpose every day. Just like a father would do, they hold me accountable when I am not myself, and they allow me not only into the medical part of their lives, but also their victories and even the shameful stories. They help me grow in humility, reminding me deeply that Christ died for our shortcomings, and when they do great we celebrate together, because to me any progress or improvement is a window of hope, an open door for greater opportunities. I tell them all the time, ‘I believe in you, my friend–you are still here, fighting against what is trying to destroy you. So as long as you are here, change can happen, because He started the work in your life and He can and is willing to finish it for His good purpose. Your story, as painful and crazy as told, can be exactly what the next person needs to be saved.’”
Jonathan Montenegro is another one of our Health Care Heroes, serving as a Patient Access Liaison at our Kensington site. “Working at Esperanza Health Center has allowed me to show the love of Christ by serving the people of K&A with kindness. Being able to connect people to medical care has been a privilege for me.”
Our final Health Care Hero is Amy Liao, DDS. She serves as Esperanza’s Lead Dentist with the Dental Clinic team at our Kensington site. “I’m grateful to God that I can work here alongside the best team, and within an organization who teaches me how to care deeply and widely for humanity, as well as for the environment in which we live.”
ESPERANZA HEALTH CENTER TO RECEIVE $1M STATE GRANT
Funding will help build new health care center in Kensington.
Philadelphia, PA, June 11, 2018—Governor Tom Wolf has authorized the release of $1 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding to assist Esperanza Health Center in building a new primary health care center in the Kensington community of Philadelphia. A prominent four-story, 35,000 square foot former bank building located at 861 East Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19134, is being renovated into a state-of-the-art healthcare facility that will provide primary medical care, dental care, mental health and enabling services in a Federal Medically-Underserved Area. A parking structure with 100 spaces will be built adjacent to the new health center.
Construction work is scheduled to begin this summer, with projected opening of the new health center in early 2019. When at full capacity, the center will provide a “medical home” to 11,900 patients through over 44,000 patient visits annually.
“Esperanza Health Center is thrilled to receive this RACP award to help us build our comprehensive primary health care center,” said Susan M. Post, Executive Director. “Motivated by Christian faith, we work from the perspective of God’s love and value for each patient. We are excited to invest in the health of this community and hope to be an anchor organization in the rebuilding of Kensington. This project will allow us to provide high quality, primary health care and dental care to thousands of additional families as well as contribute to the overall health of the community through job creation, health education and promotion, and community partnerships. We are thankful for this support to Esperanza Health Center and the people of Kensington.”
The health center project to be supported with RACP grant funding is the first phase of a multi-phase project to create a health and wellness campus in Kensington. During phase two, a community health and wellness center with a complete exercise center and conference center/community space will be built on an open lot adjacent to the new health center. Phase three will involve renovation of other adjacent properties for uses including future community program expansion, community gathering and recreational space and green space.
RACP is administered by the Governor’s Office of the Budget (budget.pa.gov/Programs/RACP) for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of the Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity.
Founded in 1989, Esperanza Health Center (esperanzahealth.com) is a faith-based, Federally-Qualified Health Center with three sites in the low-income, predominantly Latino and African-American communities of north Philadelphia. In 2017, Esperanza Health Center served 14,600 patients through over 70,000 visits.