The Community Foundation relies on the generosity of our donors to make grants to worthy nonprofits in our region. Beyond grantmaking, we are committed to our role as a connector in the community, even if a contribution of funds is not involved. Here is one such example:
Recently, our public policy specialist, Kathy Palumbo, and I met with the volunteer-staff of the Clarkston Community Health Center. The center provides free healthcare services, including a full range of preventive and primary care, mental health and dental/oral health services for uninsured immigrants and refugees. It is a vibrant hub filled with patients, volunteer nurses and physicians. The center relies on donated equipment and tools to provide their services, making the best of the resources they have been given.
A few weeks later, Kathy facilitated a meeting between Tom Andrews, president of Mercy Care, and the volunteer staff at the Clarkston Community Health Center to address two needs: establishing a referral system so that the center’s patients who need specialist care can receive it through Mercy Care, and the donation of equipment that Mercy Care no longer needs but is still in good, working condition. Mercy Care is building a new clinic in Chamblee which can impact both of those needs – it is close enough to Clarkston to be an accessible location for specialized care, and with the new facility Mercy Care has an inventory of equipment they are replacing.
Because Kathy was able to connect these dots and leverage the Community Foundation’s influence, the Clarkston Community Health Center can now serve its constituents better thanks to a wealth of new tools, from HIV tests to lab equipment and comfortable chairs for the waiting area. And a formal referral system between the two nonprofits is now in place. It is this kind of innovative thinking and knowledge of our nonprofit landscape and its needs that makes our region stronger. Join me in thanking Kathy for her efforts on behalf of two worthy partners improving healthcare outcomes in our community.