“La Clínica has played one of the most important roles in my life,” shared Brizeida, a Mi Refugio alum and new board member in 2021. La Clínica has continued to help thousands of individuals reach their best health through primary care, behavioral health, and wrap-around services. Additionally, 2021 marked greater community reach through our extensive programs and vaccination efforts and gains through our advocacy to address policy and structures that impede health access for Latino immigrants.
DEAR FRIENDS OF LA CLÍNICA DEL PUEBLO:
We at La Clínica entered 2021 buoyed with the hope COVID vaccines held for our future, and we ended the year facing the sobering reality of ongoing variants with the Omicron surge. In between, we made significant progress in restoring health services, integrating new technologies, and advancing health equity for Latino immigrants. We confronted many familiar challenges and faced several new ones as we built slowly, as a region, towards recovery. We are so grateful for your solidarity, trust, and support for our mission and our work in this second historic pandemic year.
As we look back, 2021 was definitely our Year of the Vaccine. We fully embraced this vital public health strategy and are proud of the role we played in promoting and increasing access to vaccines while advocating for vaccine equity, in particular for Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. Our incredible staff integrated vaccine education throughout our services, developed beautiful materials, and shared their own vaccine journeys to motivate their clients and peers. We had an opportunity to deepen our collaboration with community partners, sister health centers, and dedicated public health departments as we worked together to diminish barriers for low-income communities of color most adversely impacted by COVID-19.
As a federally qualified health center, we continued to be a partner in the overall federal strategy for our nation’s pandemic response. Our staff were also at the forefront of responding to a myriad of health issues exacerbated by COVID, including delays in chronic care and preventive services, mental health needs and addiction, food insecurity, language access, HIV and STIs, gender-based violence, racism and discrimination, and social instability. As we resumed many of our on-site services, we also maintained some of our best new strategies for serving our patients and clients through telehealth. We continue to dialogue with our extended La Clínica community through Spanish-language social media and virtual spaces and participated actively in local public health and policy initiatives.
We made many positive gains in 2021, including key infrastructure, facility, and organizational enhancements that will support our work in the future. At the same time, there is no question our health sector is frayed and struggling to respond to the multiple and complex health needs of our communities in distress. As part of the safety net, we also are challenged by the staffing shortages we are facing in our field. We know our recovery efforts will continue in the coming years. We believe we will need a concerted effort from many partners and stakeholders to continue to build a health system where health is truly experienced as a human right. With your help, we know we can get there.
Erin M. Scheick
OUR VACCINE RESPONSE
We began 2021 with hope as COVID vaccines became available. We knew there were many fears and questions in our community and set about working through these with our most powerful advocates: our staff. We held a COVID-19 Vaccine staff workshop in January which covered vaccine science, acknowledged the roots of mistrust from communities of color, and addressed issues and concerns. With time, motivation, and persistence, we achieved staff vaccination rates of 98.3%.
La Clínica participated in the DC Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out in January. The initial online registration portal presented many barriers for our patients. In collaboration with our health center partners, La Clínica advocated our staff to directly schedule our patients 65+ and/or with underlying conditions. This ensured patients did not lose the opportunity to be vaccinated due to language, internet access, or technology barriers. A survey related to our vaccine administration resulted in a 99% satisfaction rating.
During the spring/summer, La Clínica's Community Health Action Department promoted vaccines and supported vaccine registration in the Latinx community. Many low-income community members do not have email addresses, internet access, smartphone technology, or speak English, making it much more difficult to register on their own. We registered 738 community members for their COVID-19 vaccine and provided information, kits, and resources to thousands more. By ensuring vaccine equity, we promote healthy communities.
As part of our Unidos US Esperanza Hope for All grant, we surveyed 673 vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to ensure equitable perspectives in COVID-19 education and distribution efforts. Responses from unvaccinated participants included lack of confidence, lack of information in Spanish, and conflicting work schedules. Among vaccinated participant responses, motivation came from family members, a trusted and convenient site, and Spanish language services. Read the full results and benefits for FQHCs to conduct community assessments here.
Delta and then Omicron COVID-19 surges hit our region with force in 2021 and placed heavy demands on our staff as our patients and clients needed us more than ever. As members of our community, our staff were also affected by the impact of the ongoing pandemic on their families and lives. While frequently short-staffed, we continued to vaccinate our community for COVID as well as the flu, holding 3 influenza vaccine events where we administered 150 flu shots between September and October.
HEALTH EQUITY LAUNCH
2nd WALK-A-THON FOR HEALTH
Our Walk-A-Thon for Health took shape as a hybrid event, where registrants enjoyed a month of participating through an app in health challenges, wherever they were, cumulating with an in-person walk. May 1st, a contingent of staff, program participants, and supporters walked together through Mount Pleasant, something we had not done together for more than one year! It was emotional and joyful to hear the cheers of neighbors and honks of passing cars as our blue shirts demonstrated our action toward building a healthier community for all. Together, our community raised $35,000 towards our path to recovery.
CHA SUMMIT 2021
Community Health Action Summit – Reclaiming Technology to Address Social Determinants of Health
Our Community Health Action Department hosted a 2-day virtual summit where more than 180 participants from 54 agencies and organizations from the nation engaged in capacity building workshops, virtual booths, and networking opportunities. This summit focused on the utilization of technology as a tool in providing essential health services such as HIV testing and navigation, extracting from learned knowledge and data from the past year as La Clínica adopted new ways of reaching its clients. Kaiser Permanente and Gilead Sciences sponsored this successful educational event.
6th ANNUAL CASINO NIGHT
In its sixth year, La Clínica’s Casino event in partnership with Flock DC, more than 25 sponsors, local businesses, and hundreds of individuals who love a win, raised more than $60,000 to provide essential services to our uninsured and underinsured Latinx community members. Hear from La Clínica patient and board member Ana Rodriguez, La Clínica’s Executive Director Catalina Sol, and Flock DC CEO Lisa Wise, on the vital role our local businesses and organizations play in providing health services for all and ensuring we are building a community where all people can thrive.
La Posada is traditionally celebrated by many Latinx cultures and for La Clínica it 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 collected more than 400 toys, gift cards, and food bags that were distributed to families directly through our programs and services We hope to join our patients and families in-person in 2022 – stay tuned on how you can help!
Based on surveys La Clínica conducted through our Unidos US Esperanza Hope for All grant in partnership with UnidosUS and the CDC, La Clínica made a series of videos to address the different barriers that patients and Latino community members shared were factors in their ability to get vaccinated. La Clínica’s health education communications strategy includes culturally appropriate positive messaging that provides clear information in which to apply knowledge and practice healthy skills.
ARTICLES, PUBLICATIONS, CONFERENCES
HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Reducing HIV Disparities to End the HIV Epidemic CAREAction Newsletter.
Stories from the Field La Clínica del Pueblo’s role and impact using the Collaborative Care Model to reduce inequalities in HIV care.
This year we presented two poster sessions at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting: Transforming sorrow in solidarity: leveraging technology for providing community health services and, Are we really in this together? Evaluating intersectoral partnships designed to address Social Determinants of Health
La Clínica participated with University of Chicago in the publication Integrating Technology and Human Capital to Address Social Needs: Lessons to Promote Health Equity in Diabetes Care; which highlights the use of technology to identify high-risk patients and engage them with services that address medical and social complexity.
Together, we partner on critical research and data, and demonstration projects that allow us to build upon the works of knowledge around health care access that can shape our model of care and drive our work in public health with Latinx immigrants.
In 2021, La Clínica achieved excellent clinical outcomes and was recognized through a great span of esteemed awards for its leadership, provision of services, and work towards building a healthier community for all.
Government Grants and Contracts
Foundations and Local 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.
We thank our Board Members for their leadership and unwavering commitment during 2021.
Jose Mauricio Silva
Jan - June
July - Dec
Secretary - Patient
At Large - Patient
At Large - Patient
Luis Angelo Gomez
At Large - Patient
At Large - Patient
At Large - Patient
At Large - Patient
At Large - Patient
La Clínica relies heavily on philanthropy to fuel its mission. We are grateful for the diverse group of supporters who continue to support our work, and for those who joined us in 2021, with commitments towards building healthier and more inclusive communities. We would like to recognize the following individuals, funding partners, foundations, associations, and businesses. Gracias!
GRACIAS, THANK YOU!