Our MISSION is to provide culturally competent healthcare of the highest quality, regardless of the ability to pay. St. Thomas Community Health Center fosters relevant research and educational activities directed toward achieving health initiatives that reduce health disparities in our community. Central to our mission is acknowledging the role of institutional racism as causative of these disparities. As such, our work is directed toward becoming an antiracist institution.
Our VISION is to improve the health of the underserved of New Orleans. We will do this by:
St. Thomas Community Health Center (CHC) began providing primary care services in the St. Thomas Housing Development in 1987. At that time, the St. Thomas Housing Development was the largest public housing complex in the United States. In 1991, the clinic moved to a nearby site at 1020 St. Andrew Street and continued to provide care for the residents of St. Thomas as well as for underserved patients from other areas of the city. From the beginning, the clinic Board understood that community trust and support were critical for sustainability. The St. Thomas Irish Channel Consortium, a community- based organization of residents and service agencies, agreed to partner with the clinic with the stipulation that the Board of Directors would agree to acknowledge and address institutional racism as key to reducing the health disparities experienced by the community it intended to serve. The clinic board agreed and asked the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to train its members and the clinic staff to better understand racism as a health issue and how to organize to undo it. The clinic continues to honor its early agreement with the community. All individuals receiving a salary from the clinic are required to do Undoing Racism training with the People’s Institute. The clinic is committed to being an anti-racist institution.
In 2005, with the devastation following Hurricane Katrina, the clinic was quickly reopened and provided critical services for the City while the large public hospital was closed. Thanks to assistance from the LSU Department of Medicine, the clinic was one of the few sites providing medical care for both insured and uninsured patients. The clinic benefited greatly from the benevolence of the country following the storm as several volunteer organizations sent money and supplies. The Susan Komen Foundation partnered with the LSU School of Public Health to provide mobile mammography and later a state of the art breast imaging center. The Baldwin County Baptist Church rebuilt the floors of the clinic. The Bush/Clinton Katrina Fund was another source of support, as was the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund. The list of volunteers and donors was well over 100.
In 2009, with a grant from Baptist Community Ministries, the clinic applied for and was awarded funds under the Federal Health Center Program authorized by section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, and was designated a Federally Qualified Health Center. Since that time the clinic has expanded to eight sites providing comprehensive primary and specialty care to underserved patients in the New Orleans region.
St. Thomas Community Health Center is proud to be recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). NCQA is the gold-standard for measuring quality care.
A Patient-Centered Medical Home provides coordinated care by a team of providers who work together to provide you with quality, comprehensive care.