While serving the Atlanta community as a physician within the Grady Health System, Dr. Charles E. Moore noticed that several patients with cancer were not diagnosed until the disease was in its late stages. He realized that this was particularly prevalent among those living in areas that were medically underserved. He then opened the HEALing Community Center in 2004 to ensure that even the city’s poorest citizens could receive adequate health care and have their illnesses treated in the earliest stage possible.
The center began as a free clinic, but it has since expanded and now determines fees for uninsured patients by their income. With locations at 2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and another at 186 Sunset Ave. in the Vine City area, its services include dental, primary care, pediatrics, cardiologists, ENT, behavioral health, mental health, individual and group counseling, and more.
The newest service the clinic has to offer is its Women’s Wellness program. Orita Semple, health coordinator at the HEALing Community Center, says that the clinic established the program due to the growing need for women to receive HIV, mental health and breast cancer services. The women’s center stands out from others not only due to its concern for patients who are uninsured and in a low-income bracket, but it also includes other special forms of aid.
“A lot of our women patients are in need of housing, shelter, food, clothing, so we do allow drives for those things,” Semple says. “So it’s more than just a clinic, it’s also a support service. We have a mobile mammogram that comes by from DeKalb Medical. We do free mammograms for women.”
Although the services are at a reasonable price, the clinic still offers high-quality treatment, according to clinic marketing specialist Velma Maia Fann.
“We’re open six days a week at the family qualified health center, which means we have to be at the highest standard, mandated by the federal government,” says Fann.
She adds that thanks to the clinic, those who are “laying on the couch saying ‘I’m so sick, I don’t have anywhere to go,’ ” have a welcoming medical center to count on.
For more information on the HEALing Community Center, visit www.healingourcommunities.org.