By Scott Cummings
April marks a decade of service for the Care1st Avondale Resource Center.
Ten years ago, Avondale had a limited human services system. If left this way, it could not support its residents. Care1st Health Plan Arizona (Care1st) knew there was a need for these types of services in this underserved area. With this in mind, we sought to find a way to help not only our members, but the community as a whole.
In April 2009, the center launched in Avondale. Care1st, Avondale and First Things First (FTF) made it possible. The center offers social and human services. These include healthcare sign up, parenting classes, budget workshops, jobs and more, all under one roof.
The center is a safe place where those in need can get services. In this way, we can support good health outcomes for those we serve. At this time, there are 61 organizations that deliver services out of the center. Plus, 5K people walk through the door each month.
Much of the center’s success is due its core partners. Yearly, Care1st funds what it costs to run the center. Avondale keeps up the facility as well as runs day-to-day needs and staff. FTF funds organizations that offer early childhood education. Many of these are housed in the center.
A few months ago, the WellCare Community Foundation donated $23K for a new Bayless Integrated Healthcare clinic. It gives patients a place to take part in healthcare services in the Avondale Elementary School District (AESD). This new clinic can be found across the street from the center. As a result, the clinic refers those in need to the center.
In 2014, the center received the “Desert Peaks Award” for its exemplary services. It was also honored with the “Best of the West Award” in 2010.
On April 10, Care1st, Avondale and FTF honored 10 years of service. It featured refreshments and leadership made remarks about the center’s vital impact on the region.
We’re committed to ensuring the center’s legacy. That means we will help those in need in the state live healthier lives.
Scott Cummings is the state president of Care1st Health Plan Arizona.