Throughout our history, La Clínica del Pueblo has been a source of health care, social connection, and resources for immigrant families from Central and South America. No event in recent memory has challenged us more to be “La Clínica” for our patients and clients than the 2020 global COVID pandemic. We are so pleased to share with you our stories of transformation, service, and advocacy in this extraordinary year.
COVID has been called “the great revealer.” In our region, COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths soared within brown and black communities, tragically highlighting the inequity experienced daily in housing, health access and health status. Many of our patients suffered greater exposure to COVID as they fulfilled their jobs in sectors finally recognized as essential, including restaurants, childcare, cleaning, and construction. Many others suffered job loss, food insecurity, economic hardship, and exclusion from federal benefits. Locally, 25% of COVID cases were attributed to Hispanic/Latinx communities.
At La Clínica we know the names, faces, and lives behind these statistics, and our efforts from the very beginning centered on responding in any way possible. In 2020, 56% of our essential clinical services were delivered virtually, reflecting our adoption of new technologies to ensure continuity of care. But our COVID response went far beyond telehealth. Our dedicated front-line staff kept the doors open for medical care, care coordination, COVID testing, food distribution, HIV testing, and a myriad of other community services. La Clínica’s medical interpreters ensured our patients did not “fall through the cracks” in an overwhelmed hospital system, while mental health and substance use counselors provided IT support for patients desperate to connect. In community health, staff developed new ways to reach our community through social media, virtual platforms, and many, many phone calls.
We cannot talk about 2020 without acknowledging loss. Like many of you, La Clínica lost friends and family to COVID, whom we still mourn. We also experienced economic losses, as COVID severely limited capacity for on-site services for much of the year. This created difficulties for our patients and led to a revenue shortfall of nearly $2 million in our billable visits. We were fortunate to mitigate our losses through federal rescue funding, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and generosity from individuals and private donors.
Our successes this year rest on many shoulders. We are immensely grateful to our staff, who displayed remarkable adaptability, perseverance, courage, and creativity in unprecedented circumstances. We were also proud to collaborate with our community and government partners in a robust regional response. Our Board steered us through difficult moments, and our patients continued to honor us with their trust throughout our many changes. We are especially grateful to you, our supporters, for your early and ongoing f inancial support to us in our hour of need. Thanks to you, we were able to survive and make needed investments for our continuing recovery. We look forward to continuing to work with you in our mission to build a healthy Latinx community for those most in need.
Erin M. Scheick
As the COVID numbers climbed so did the racial injustices experienced across our nation. With the murder of George Floyd, endemic racism that presents a daily threat to the health, wellbeing, and lives of black people called on our nation and all people to act. As an organization created under the conviction that health is a human right, it called us to look racism and privilege right in the eye. It was made clear some of us are safe and healthy due to the color of our skin, while some of us are not. This moved La Clínica into deeper anti-racist work, inclusive of trainings and workshops across all levels of our organization. Read the full version of our Racial Equity Value Statement.
La Clínica’s Executive Director, Catalina Sol, and Gender & Health Program Manager, Dilcia Molina, along with Heather Burns from the Live to Give Equity and Justice Fund brought to light the factors leading to greater health disparities among Latina women and the distinct challenges that were magnified during the pandemic for many Latina women who juggled essential employment, income loss, fear of illness, food insecurity, virtual school for their children, and increased stress and violence at home. Panelists shared their perspectives regarding why women affirming work matters towards building more equitable and just communities.
DAY OF THE DEAD
This year, our LGBTQ+ Health program, Empodérate, and Health and Gender program, Entre Amigas teamed up for a Facebook Live session to celebrate Day of the Dead. Traditionally celebrated at La Casa with an altar and community gathering, this year the theme was Recovering The Strength Of Our Ancestors; Celebration, Culture, And Resistance, and held space to recognize and honor patients, friends, and family lost to COVID or otherwise, that could not be honored in-person due to travel regulations and social distancing. To lighten the spirits and create new memories, staff safely distributed pumpkins, candy, PPE and educational brochures to more than 200 patients.
DIALOGUES FOR ACTION
In the fall, La Clínica’s Health Equity unit hosted two Dialogues for Action events. Dialogues for Action events are designed to invite subject matter experts, partner leaders, academics, and community members to increase awareness and discussion around issues affecting low-income Latinx immigrants and health access. Drawing diverse listeners from across the DMV were Women and the Pandemic – The Fight for Just and Dignified Housing, joined by representatives from ONE DC, CASA, and Universidad Autonoma de Honduras and Immigrant Health Care in the District of Columbia – a conversation with Council Member Christiana Henderson.
1st ANNUAL WALK-A-THON
Last October, with the signs of fall upon us, we launched our first Walk-A-Thon to raise essential funds while encouraging healthy activities during a time where still, coming together was not possible. As a peer-to-peer event, individuals created teams and walked in honor of those tragically lost to COVID. Walkers took selfies on their favorite paths – connecting us in our actions towards a healthier community. This first virtual Walk-a-Thon became the launchpad to scale up in 2021 for our now signature annual Walk-a-Thon for Health held in May. Stay tuned for 2022!
Flock DC and La Clínica partnered for the 5th year in a row for a Casino Reimagined. Instead of the usual pop-up casino night with tables, games, and signature cocktail of the night – we went virtual with a week-long blitz of prizes and joy. Everyone was a winner. Raffle prizes were bought from our favorite businesses who had faced challenges throughout the year, and then won by happy guests who needed a win after nine months of navigating life in a pandemic. The biggest win came for La Clínica - $80,000 was raised from tickets and sponsors to provide essential health services, relief for our frontline staff, and gift cards and holiday needs for our patients and their families. Lookout for the 6th annual Casino - October 6th, 2021!
La Posada is traditionally celebrated by many Latinx cultures and for La Clínica has a special meaning of belonging and place in the community. Last year, many of our families faced dire situations and the holidays only presented a greater sense of isolation and sadness. La Clínica pivoted to a virtual gathering with live musicians, traditional music, holiday stories, and words of connection. Additionally, more than 400 toys, gift cards, and food bags were distributed to families directly through our programs and services. We hope to join our patients and families in-person in 2021 – stay tuned on how you can help!
Our 10 Healthy Habits Campaign, a series of videos and communications, was created by our Health Promotion and Promotores in honor of World Diabetes Awareness Day. At La Clínica del Pueblo, we stand in solidarity with all those who live with Diabetes and recognize the extraordinary effort of health personnel who continuously work to control and prevent diabetes. We work hard to motivate our community to put these 10 healthy habits into practice.
GOVERNMENT GRANTS AND CONTRACTS
Foundations and Corporate Grants
Direct Services and Programs
Management, Facilities, and General
Development, Fundraising, and Communications
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
La Clínica is led by a patient-majority Board of Directors who ensure the voice of our community is represented at the highest levels of leadership. This past year they each played an exceptional role navigating La Clínica through an unprecedented time. Despite all challenges, the Board met monthly, by Zoom, with simultaneous interpretation.
We thank our Board Members for their volunteer service, leadership, and unwavering commitment to our mission during 2020.
Jose Mauricio Silva
The additional support and creative ways in which our support community stepped into help were remarkable last year and still fuel us forward. We would like to recognize the following individuals, corporations, foundations, associations. and sponsors. We are profoundly grateful for your support.
GRACIAS, THANK YOU!
AMIG@S DEL PUEBLO
OUR MONTHLY DONORS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MEETING THE HEALTH NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY BY PROVIDING A SUSTAINBLE STREAM OF SUPPORT.
“As a family we've always given back to our community and supported those who had the courage to start over. I know that La Clínica makes it a little easier by meeting patients where they are and by empowering them to take care of their health. I'm proud to support La Clínica's efforts, by supporting those who recently made their own journey to the U.S. ”
“Giving monthly helps ensure that La Clínica can support all patients, regardless of their financial status.”
Board Member and
Amig@ del Pueblo since July, 2020