On June 8, I had the pleasure of visiting the Foundation’s ¡Celebremos la vida! site in McHenry County, Illinois. McHenry County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation and over the past twenty years has experienced a dramatic increase in its Hispanic population. Since 2004, the Foundation has partnered with the Family Health Partnership Clinic (FHPC) to offer the Celebremos program to Hispanic women over 40 in the county. FHPC is a dedicated community health provider with a mission that greatly complements the mission of the Foundation:
The Family Health Partnership Clinic will improve the health status of the community and reduce the negative economic impact of poor access to care by providing a broad spectrum of services to the underserved with compassion and respect. We recognize that as a community, we are responsible for each other.
The Celebremos clinic is truly a community effort. Centegra Health Systems, one of the few hospital providers in the county, donates the use of their Women’s Center, including use of their new mammography equipment, to Celebremos once a month. On this particular Celebremos day there were 26 women scheduled for screenings. Similar to the Celebremos sites in the DC metro area, women receive a screening mammogram, pap tests and clinical breast exams all in one visit and in a trusted, comfortable and culturally sensitive environment. All of the participants are provided with cancer prevention and early detection education.
The Celebremos team is truly amazing! Everyone is friendly and welcoming. Abby, Diane, Suzanne and many others do a wonderful job coordinating the program, providing interpretation, educating the participants and finding follow-up care and connecting them to other needed social services. It is no wonder that this program has become so popular just based on word-of-mouth. It was wonderful to see this staff in action, and I am proud of the Foundation’s continuing commitment to this program and to our partners in McHenry County!
Check out the video of our visit with our McHenry County Celebremos partners!