La Comunidad announces expansion, fundraising plans

Officials from La Comunidad Hispana (LCH) announced Tuesday night an aggressive fundraising plan — seeking some $4 million over the next four years — to fund expansion of health and community services in southern Chester County.

“Today we celebrate a number of major accomplishments as we also honor LCH’s 40 years of service to the community,” said Alice Moorhead, Chair of the Board of Directors of LCH. “The federal government has approved our increased patient care proposal. We are expected to expand our services and we will.”

“Fortyforward: Building on the past … Focusing on the future” was introduced Tuesday evening during a reception at the Farm House Restaurant before community leaders, LCH supporters and staff and members of the public. Fortyforward is a comprehensive strategic initiative that restructures governance, programs, operational, finances, marketing and philanthropy for LCH.

During the reception, attendees were told LCH is a Federally Qualified Health Center with a goal of doubling the volume of patients to 4,400 by 2014. Also, LCH is also recognized as a Level 2 Patient-Centered Medical Home. The designation recognizes LCH as giving the highest quality of care and favorable patient outcomes.

The reception included a celebration of the retiring of LCH”s mortgage. The mortgage on LCH’s new facility at 731 West Cypress Street, Kennett Square, was recently retired.

The $4 million fundraising effort will be co-chaired by Moorhead and Elizabeth R. Moran. The goal is to raise the money in the next four years with $2.5 million going to program funding and $1.5 million for sustaining funds.

“LCH has been providing much needed services for decades,” Moorhead said. “We are looking forward to the contributions by our generous community. We are also looking forward to establishing a volunteer program to assist the fine service given by our staff members.”

LCH offers a comprehensive scope of healthcare, social services and adult education and positively impacts the health and well-being of Latinos and vulnerable individuals and families living and working in Southern Chester County.

“We are strengthening the quality of life for the community as a whole,” said Margarita Queralt Mirkil, Chief Executive Officer of LCH.  “We are a bilingual and bicultural organization that is sensitive to the needs of our population. Our nurse-managed healthcare creates a comfortable, familiar environment that encourages honest communication with our health providers.”

Margarita Quinones was also recognized as one of the founders of the organization. She has worked at LCH for 40 years.

LCH’s mission is to empower immigrants and low-income residents of Southern Chester County to stay healthy, build strong families and lead productive and fulfilling lives. LCH’s goal is to double the number of clients receiving medical assistance to 4,400 persons by 2014.

The health center cared for 2, 389 persons last year, 86 percent didn’t have health insurance. LCH also provided services for almost 5,000 individuals through its core services of healthcare, educational and social services.

“There is a great need for our services, especially for the Latino community,” Moorhead said. “Latinos are half of Kennett Square’s population and more than 30 percent of the population of Southern Chester County. Poverty is growing as 15 percent of county Latinos are below the poverty level. A third of Latino adults lack regular healthcare and 32 percent are uninsured. Also, 77.3 percent of Latinos in the county are linguistically isolated, a significantly number greater than the nationwide rate of 19.6 percent.”

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