Health and Heart – Valoramás’ Community PartnersTuesday, May 8th, 2012
Valoramás Community Grant Fund- Health
Voting for the Valoramás Founders’ Grants Initiative opened on April 27th. Members of V+ are voting for their favorite Latino-focused, non-profit organizations through May 20th, including those serving the health needs of Latinos.
$150,000 in unrestricted funds will be awarded to organizations helping Latinos and grant amounts will be determined by member votes. The Valoramás Founders’ Grants Initiative focuses on four areas of Latino community need: health, education, community development and arts and humanities.
Today we’d like to highlight the work of El Centro de Corazón and Corazón Community Services, both addressing complex health issues in the Latino community.
El Centro de Corazón- Houston
El Centro de Corazón was established in 1994 by Mary Jo May as a community-based social service organization for East End families, with an initial focus on early childhood development and mental health services.
Today El Centro has 5 health centers and in 2011 El Centro had over 28,000 patient visits to its clinics.
“As a community-based Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing affordable and accessible health care services, El Centro is at the heart of making Houston a healthy community through quality care that reaches the entire family, treating the whole person,” states Marcie Mir, LCSW, El Centro de Corazón’s Chief Development Officer
El Centro de Corazón’s mission is “to promote the individual, community, and social health of the East End and the greater Houston area.” The organization actualizes their mission by providing dental, mental and primary care to its patients, who are 95% Hispanic and 95% uninsured, with 63% of patients below the federal poverty guideline.
Corazón Community Services- Chicago
Corazón Community Services is a non-profit that empowers Latino youth through effective, life-improving programs in safety, health education and leadership. With three facilities serving Cicero and surroundings, Corazón has been assisting over 30,000 people each year.
The organization categorizes its effort into 4 areas: prevention, intervention, education and health.
- Prevention – Fuerza project is a positive youth development program that serves youth ages 14-21 after school, during holidays and during the summer. Activities include; homework assistance, internships and experiential learning, as well as service projects in coordination with the local Rotary Club chapter. The program also includes Vidafit (a weekly fitness program), Fuerza Mujer (a girls program that meets weekly), Open mic and poetry slam. Each participant in Fuerza receives a hot meal, has access to the community tech center and can participate in sports and field trips.
- Intervention - Corazón CS has a violence prevention strategy called Cease Fire that engages high risk young people ages 15-25. The program is implemented through community marches, meetings and collaboration, youth outreach, public education, faith-based leadership involvement and criminal justice participation. The organizations host an open gym every Friday night at Cicero Community Center from 8- 12pm.
- Education - Corazón CS provides online classes for students in grades 7th-12th who have been expelled from school.
- Health - Some initiatives include sexual health education, underage drinking reduction, and Say It Outloud (Mental illness stigma reduction). Corazón Community Services partners with the Chicago BREATHE Project (Asthma Education), ALMA, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Salud Latina, and Latinos Progresando in project Cease Fire. Cease Fire is an initiative of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention.
In 1988, the Hispanic Women in Leadership (HWIL) was chartered in Houston, Texas, by 20 pioneering Latinas, after a successful Hispanic Women’s Leadership Conference. Hence, [...]Read More