Recently, a handful of NACHC employees were privileged to learn more about the Community Health Center Movement in Baltimore on a visit to Park West Health System. Park West was founded by Janie Geer, a community activist who saw a need and decided to do something about it. The health center rose from humble beginnings as a small clinic in a church basement. Over the course of forty years Park West evolved into a model health center, averaging 50,000 patient visits a year who can access care at four locations in Northwest Baltimore. One of those locations is a clinic that is located inside a ShopRite grocery store. The QCare clinic, as it is called, offers extended hours for convenience and is open seven days a week.
NACHC staffers were able to hear more about Park West’s services from CEO Dr. Allen Bennett, PD, MPH, and tour the Belvedere Avenue location with Medical Director and Pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Johnson. Most NACHC employees don’t get to see the Community Health Center work happening on the ground so this trip was very informative and affirming of the good work health centers do.
“Having never been to a Community Health Center, I wasn’t sure what to expect of the personalities that work at one. I was very pleased to meet such a professional and passionate group of people that really sold the mission to me on an emotional level,” said Sugath Karunaratne, NACHC Online Training Specialist. “Seeing and hearing how deeply they care about their work really made me think about my place in the professional world and how I’d like to be that fervent about what I contribute to society.”
Check out some of the photos of our visit below. Want to share something interesting about your health center? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org.