Our patients inspire the care and service we provide, the dedication of our staff, and our commitment to creating healthy families and strong communities. Every year, we see thousands of patients who come to us because they are sick, need support or want a caring person to listen to their needs. We are happy to fill in this important gap in the communities we serve and are proud to introduce you to a few of our many valued patients:
Francis has been living in South Chicago for more than 50 years. She has seen her neighborhood go through its share of changes, but what has remained a constant in her life is her medical home. Francis has been a CFHC patient for more than 20 years.
“The doctors are nice here and they have always taken good care of me and my family,” says Francis, who overall considers herself a pretty healthy person. “I have some arthritis, but other than that, there isn’t much wrong with me.”
Francis has Medicare and chooses to receive healthcare services at CFHC. She sees her doctor regularly and tries to take care of herself in between visits.
Routine care is the key to staying healthy at any age; CFHC gives Francis access to that care. CFHC provides preventive health programs like immunizations and personalized chronic disease management for hypertension, diabetes and asthma. Serious health problems can be prevented when people, such as Francis, get regular checkups.
“Chicago Family has been in the neighborhood a long time and I am glad for that. It’s important for the community to have a place like this because everyone benefits,” she adds.
In 1999, Krystle turned to CFHC for prenatal care, but she came away with a lot more. She was pregnant with her first child and was young and frightened about her future.
“I had no money or support and really felt alone,” Krystle says. “I never imagined what an important role this place would play in my life.”
Pregnant at 18, Krystle was quickly linked with a provider and a nurse who not only took care of her and her baby, but also made sure she received vital social services such as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, transportation assistance, access to food pantries, and other health and human services. To this day, Krystle remains grateful for all the help she received from her case manager.
“She made sure I was keeping my appointments, visited me in my home to ensure I had what I needed and just talked to me about anything that was troubling me,” Krystle says. “The emotional support I received from her got me through this critical time. She was the first person I called when I had my daughter.”
Today, Krystle is married and has two more children. She has gone back to school and is working toward a degree in social work because she was so inspired by the help she received at CFHC.
“I want to help people the way I was helped here,” she explains. “The care and comfort I got here still resonates with me as an adult. There is no place like it in the neighborhood, and you are never made to feel like a number.”
Carla and her husband were successful business owners who worried little about the healthcare system. They never imagined they’d end up at their local emergency room for routine healthcare. When the recession hit, their life changed and their health took a back seat.
“I’d been running up bills: I couldn’t pay in the emergency room and made up my mind not to go back,” Carla says.
But she needed a doctor.
“Finding Chicago Family Health Center was a turning point for me,” she says. “For the first time in a long time, somebody finally wrote my name on a chart, and I had my own doctor who listened to me and developed a health plan just for me.”
More and more, people find themselves in Carla’s shoes. CFHC believes that healthcare is something people shouldn’t have to do without. Today, Carla is back on her feet and now serves on the board of directors at CFHC. She is also still a patient here.
“Chicago Family Health Center stands in the gap that exists when it comes to healthcare,” she says.“It’s not just a clinic, but a life raft.”
Sana is a new mom. She gave birth to baby Kevin in fall 2010. She received her prenatal and postpartum care in the Healthy Start Program at CFHC.
Once in the program, mothers like Sana receive help from a team that includes an OB/GYN physician, nurse case managers, outreach workers and breast-feeding counselors who help deliver healthy babies. The team develops personalized relationships and bonds with women, encouraging them to begin prenatal care during the first trimester of their pregnancies. They also advocate for moms so that they will continue to care for themselves and their babies through postpartum and newborn healthcare visits.
“The doctors here are very caring,” Sana says. “They gave me great information about breast-feeding and on how to take care of my baby. They answered all my questions, gave me assistance or referred me to where I could get help.”
CFHC is committed to providing quality care to mothers and babies in an effort to reduce the infant death rate in communities where there are high rates of teen pregnancy, women with little or no prenatal care, and low-birth-weight infants.