A Message from Frederica M. Williams – Re-envisioning Our Future: 2022 to 2026
During the last year and a half, when most of our lives changed dramatically, the Whittier Street Health Center team was focused on proactively responding to address long-standing inequities that were exacerbated during the pandemic. We were also engaged in the development of our three to five year strategic plan to strengthen our capacity to serve as a community-based center of excellence for our diverse patient populations.
Please allow me to give you some background on our history, and update you on Whittier Street Health Center’s efforts to provide much-needed services to our community during the pandemic.
Reflecting on Our Past
Since joining Whittier Street Health Center in 2002 and with the efforts of our dedicated Whittier Street Health Center team, we have expanded our services to more than 40 different programs, including nationally recognized primary care and specialty care services in areas such as women’s health, pediatrics, adult medicine, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease intervention/prevention, asthma treatment, eye care, dental care, behavioral health, HIV services, several chronic disease prevention and management programs, youth development, social services and more.
Realizing Our Present
In 2012, WSHC opened its first permanent home; a 78,900 square-feet state-of-the-art Silver-level LEED-certified health and wellness center. In addition to comprehensive primary and specialty care services, this spacious and highly visible site currently contains a dedicated pharmacy, community education room, and employment clothing distribution center. Since moving to the new site in 2012, Whittier has expanded the range of services to include a Wellness Institute which includes a fitness center, community garden, food pantry and teaching kitchen designed to teach healthy meal preparation.
In 2017, WSHC expanded its reach by adding a satellite clinic on Blue Hill Ave to serve patients served by the former Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center. WSHC has responded to the ongoing transportation barrier and limitation issues within the predominant ethnic minority community with an established and expanded mobile clinical van program. The mobile vans provide primary care, behavioral health, oral health, HIV and Infectious diseases, and COVID-19 vaccination services to individuals in public/low-income housing, elderly housing, and public schools, and through partnerships with faith-based and community organizations.
Re-envisioning Our Future
“Establishing industry leadership in whole health care and social equity”
Having overcome the challenges of the past and successfully meeting those of the present, WSHC is forging ahead with confidence in our clinical competencies and commitment to serve. In the midst of lingering access to care issues, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced significant physical and psychological barriers to health services, community engagement, and family gatherings. These combined factors and impacts highlight the need for innovative and responsive health service delivery, strategic alliances with the health and education sectors, and community-based organizations. Ultimately, an effective community health provider must be able to provide “whole person” care versus increasing use of the silo-driven model that presents transportation and life coordination issues for patients and appointment scheduling challenges for health providers and complementary human service organizations. WSHC has demonstrated its capabilities in this regard and will build upon the foundation of its proactive community health service delivery model.
Our recently completed Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026 was conceived with feedback from our Board of Directors, President’s Advisory Council, Patient’s Advisory Council, employees, community leaders and other stakeholders. This four-month strategic planning process was guided by BCOG Planning Associates who has consulted with the organization for more than twenty years.
With a new vision statement : “To become an exceptional community health provider that addresses health care inequities, closes gaps in life expectancy, and pursues social justice” and a new mission statement “To serve as a center of excellence that provides high quality, and accessible health care and social services that achieve health equity, social justice, and the economic well-being of our diverse patient populations” we believe that we are well-positioned to positively impact the lives of those we serve.
Please click on the link for our Strategy Map which provides a high-level summary of our plan.
Some areas of our strategic focus over the next 3 to 5 years includes a diverse set of key initiatives:
- Integrated and Coordinated and Comprehensive Health and Social Services
- Mobile Health Care and Social Services Expansion
- School- and College-based Clinical Sites
- Telemedicine Capacity-building
- Virtual Care and Remote Patient Monitoring Systems
- Community-based Participatory Research Center
- Youth STEM and Life Sciences Education Coordination
- Cyber Security and Patient Privacy Measures
- Broad-based Community Outreach and Patient Recruitment
We are most enthusiastic and prepared to engage this work that will have a notable and visible impact on the physical, psychological, economic, education, and longevity of patients and residents in Roxbury, Dorchester, South End, and surrounding neighborhoods.
Despite our commitment and capacity to serve, these much-needed services require support beyond patient reimbursements, federal funding, and competitive public and private grants. Whole person care requires the “whole” community of organizations and individual donors who have a heart to support the health, prosperity, and self-actualization of residents of these distressed neighborhoods. These communities need our comprehensive services and your involvement and generosity.
In the meantime, and on behalf of my colleagues and our patients, please know that we are deeply grateful for your support. We look forward to sharing more updates regarding our transformative vision for the future.
(Note: Please click on the link for our Strategy Map which provides a high-level summary of our plan.)
President & CEO