CHICAGO — Three non-profit organizations are bringing a new community health center aimed to provide necessary health, wellness and community social need services to Brighton Park in late 2018.
Brighton Park Health Center will be built on the corner of 47th Street and California Avenue, and will also serve residents of Gage Park, Back of the Yards and Archer Heights. The center will feature a bilingual staff and a sliding scale, allowing low-income and uninsured patients access to healthcare regardless of their financial situation.
The $26 million construction is brought by a partnership between Esperanza Health Centers, Sinai Health Systems and Mujeres Latinas en Acción.
With 268,000 residents in the Brighton Park area, 74 percent are Latino, according to 2010 UDS Mapper statistics. Together, the three organizations hope to provide accessible services to the underserved communities where there are 31,674 residents for every health care provider in Brighton Park and Gage Park, as opposed to the federal ratio of 3,500 residents per provider, indicating a health provider shortage.
"Our patient population is moving southwest. Pilsen is gentrifying, and areas like Brighton Park and Chicago Lawn are becoming more Latino and we need to be where our patients are," said Karen Teitelbaum, CEO of Sinai Health System.
The Brighton Park Health Center will serve residents of Gage Park, Back of the Yards and Archer Heights. [Esperanza Health Centers/Ricardo Cifuentes]
Once financing is secured, partners expect to begin construction this year. The center will be designed by Chicago architect Juan Gabriel Moreno.
"We are bringing together outstanding partners who have decades of experience in caring for underserved communities," Moreno said. "And we know we'll be able to make a tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of this growing community."
In addition to primary and specialty care, Esperanza will offer behavioral health services and a variety of wellness and health education programs, and Sinai will bring in several onsite services from mammography to general surgery.
Mujeres Latinas en Acción, a social service and advocacy non-profit, will offer services for teens and women in the community, focusing on violence prevention, leadership, self-esteem building, community advocacy and career readiness. The programs aim at strengthening family communication and emphasizing cultural values.
In Brighton Park, an area with scarce green spaces where the closest park nearly a mile away from the site, the center will feature a community garden, outdoor amphitheater, playground, terrace garden and a community kitchen.