Communities refer to a group of individuals that share a similar background and enjoy the same culture
Communities refer to a group of individuals that share a similar background and enjoy the same culture, language, resources, among others. Communities can be defined according to political and geographical lines such as boundaries, localities, or via resources and interests such as those who have HIV/AIDs, the gay community, among others. Community healthcare, therefore, refers to the provision of healthcare not to individuals but the wider community via out-of-hospital care provided to individuals, families, and groups such as the homeless or those suffering from certain diseases.
In order for community clients to receive proper care, partnerships within the healthcare facilities, the government, and other not-for-profit organizations need to be present. Alexandria, Virginia, is an excellent example of the various aspects and partnerships aimed at improving community care. Community client includes groups such as neighborhoods, students, uninsured children and adults, families among others. Most of these groups access healthcare from the various free clinics and neighborhood health centers that offer healthcare to vulnerable groups such as uninsured children and adults. These groups and health issues facing Alexandrians were well covered in the Community Health Improvement Plan 2025 (CHIP), which was a collaboration between Alexandria Health Department, community members, and the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandra (Alexandra Community Health Assessment, 2021). CHIP was an action plan that followed the 2019 community health assessment in Alexandria, where community members, organizations, and institutions all participated in identifying issues then come up with strategies, progress measures, tactics, and timelines.
There are several free and income-based clinics in Alexandria. Neighborhood Health which is a not-for-profit federally qualified health center, uses a sliding scale methodology to determine health costs which means that income determines how much an individual will pay (Neighborhood Health, 2021). It targets healthcare to children, pregnant women, routine checkups, treatment, primary care for acute and chronic diseases, mental health, and substance abuse services. Its healthcare centers are funded by the federal government and work with other local agencies to receive referrals and avoid cost duplication for services. INOVA, which has a Community Services Division called Partnership for Healthier Communities that helps match uninsured adults and children to affordable sources of quality healthcare, recently opened two clinics in Alexandria’s West End region (Alexandria Living Magazine, 2021). All these health centers rely on programs such as Medicaid, CHIP, and donations to offer free or low-cost medical coverage programs to individuals.
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