The Champaign County Christian health Center (CCCHC) is a network of dedicated volunteers who believe that access to health care is something that every person in America should have. Multiple times a week, CCCHC volunteer doctors, nurses, spiritual care providers, phlebotomist, hospitality volunteers, social workers, interpreters and psychiatrist gather to offer completely free, holistic health care to the 30,000 uninsured residents of Chamapign County.
The foundation of Chamapign County Christian Health Center was cemented in November 2002 when founder Jeff Trask attended a worship at the Christian Community Development Association Conference in Pasadena, California. Inspired by a similar clinic in Chicago, Jeff knew that Champaign County was a place that lacked adequate health care. With support from his congregation, Mr. Trask was able to get great community response and in September 2004 CCCHC saw its first client. To date, CCCHC has seen over 2,200 patients and had over 2,800 visits. CCCHC has grown from once clinic per week to multiple clinics per week and two satellite locations. CCCHC is not a federally qualified health center so the organization receives all of the funding for its clinics from grants and donations; of course prepared by awesome volunteer grant writers.
Considering that 68% of all bankruptcy cases in Chamapign County happen because of medical debt, the service CCCHC provides is invaluable. As a volunteer coordinator, I reach everywhere within our community to keep volunteers flowing into the organization. One of the best places to find volunteers has been the client pool. Clients are so grateful for the support provided; they wish to show their support to CCCHC.
All of the major health care outlets in our community must turn patients away due to lack of insurance, and because of their tremendous community record, Champaign County Christian Health Center is always highly recommended to those in need. Due to the effort of CCCHC, the organization has been able to refer patients with ongoing health care needs to the federally qualified health care center in our community. This is an especially needed resource considering that if these same patients tried to become clients of that low income health care center on their own, they would be turned away. That particular low income facility is at its capacity and does not accept new patients without referral.
CCCHC strives to work with relevant social justice and health care organizations in the community to keep building on the great thing that has been started. Each semester CCCHC welcomes university Community health students as interns to help us build strong community ties. Recently CCCHC added "Energy Healing Massage" to the list of services we provide on a weekly basis. Not only do our patients have access to nurse, providers and social workers to meet any pressing needs, they want to stick with the motto of being "holistic."
CCCHC is made up of glorious volunteers that offer a needed service and deserve to be recognized for their energy!