Agency Spotlight: Caridad Center
Caridad Health Clinic has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way agency since 2002. The center provides medical and dental care to uninsured children and adults in Palm Beach County, who do not qualify for other programs and subsidies, and who cannot access care anywhere else.
The Town of Palm Beach United Way has funded Caridad Health Clinic since 2002. Caridad’s focus is to treat diseases in their early stages, avoiding costly hospitalization or use of emergency rooms for non-emergency care, thus saving the community more than 5 million dollars a year in uncompensated care. Caridad’s Prevention, Education and Treatment Program (PET), provides community-based health screenings to identify children and adults with, and at risk for, chronic diseases.
Jose became a member of the Caridad Family when he was a child. He was a part of the PET program called the Healthy Family Program. Jose struggled with his weight and his self-esteem, but with the help of the Program, he was motivated to lose weight and make changes to create a healthier life style. He also participated in Caridad’s summer camp, and continues on his path to a healthier lifestyle. His achievement motivated him to become a volunteer at the YMCA, where he helped other kids, just as Caridad helped him. Jose’s healthier lifestyle eventually led to increased self-esteem. He is now a nationally recognized skater. Additionally, Jose’s healthy habits and increased self-esteem helped him become an excellent student, and he was accepted into Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
How It Makes a Difference
Prevention and prompt attention to illness and injuries are essential for adults to work consistently and for children to attend school and achieve academic success. The cost to provide care during a patient visit to Caridad is $55.50, compared to an average cost of $5,367 for a patient visit at the Palm Beach County emergency rooms. It is well documented that poverty, lack of insurance, and racial and ethnic disparities contributes to higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular and oral diseases, and obesity. The goal of Caridad Health Clinic is to increase access to healthcare and reduce health disparities for the uninsured, low income residents of Palm Beach County. Annually, Caridad provides more than 5,000 patients with comprehensive primary and specialty care services in over 28,000 medical and dental visits.
How You Can Help