doctor smiling in hallway

CHI Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Community Health Centers

We are about to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of the National Association of Community Health Centers. In the 1960’s, this community health center model was brought to the United States from South Africa. This one-stop model allows patients the convenience of taking care of several medical appointments in one day at one location.

Soon, federal funding led the way to creating community health centers in rural and urban areas throughout the country. This eventually led to the birth of Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI).

Along with health care, CHI – as part of more than 1,300 community health centers with 9,000 sites nationwide – provides free transportation to and from medical appointments. Additionally, medication delivery right to a patient’s home is provided at no charge.

Since the advent of its inception, CHI has constantly evolved with new services and has grown to 11 locations. The Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare) has allowed us to expand and care for more and more patients each year.

We hope you will celebrate this anniversary with us as we continue our mission of providing access to affordable, quality health care and preventive services to the insured and uninsured of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.


Hartley signature
Brodes H. Hartley Jr.
CHI President/CEO


Get a Yearly Mammogram to Help Detect Breast Cancer

One out of every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer disease over the course of her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in women. The cancer forms in tissues of the breast, usually in the tubes that carry milk to the nipple (ducts) and glands that make milk (lobules). Even men can be diagnosed with breast cancer, though it is pretty rare.

Dr. Fabio Paes, Radiologist
Dr. Fabio Paes, Radiologist

A mammogram is a special examination of the breast. It is used to detect breast diseases in women and/or men. The examination is fairly quick and involves a low-energy X-ray that is earmarked to each breast, administering photos that your physician can use to point out any uncommon regions that could perhaps indicate the existence of cancer. Here at Community Health of South Florida Inc., we have a Radiology Center where we perform breast cancer screenings or mammograms.

Mammography is the only breast cancer screening tool known to reduce deaths from the disease. It can show changes in breast up to two years before a patient or doctor can feel them. Mammograms can also eliminate the need for a substantial amount of treatment for advanced cancers and improve chances of breast protection.

A CHI patient receives a mammogram in the Radiology Department.
A CHI patient receives a mammogram in the Radiology Department at CHI’s Doris Ison Health Center.
Mammography has helped reduce the deaths caused by breast cancer by nearly one-third since the 1990. Mammograms can discover cancer at an earlier stage when it is easier to treat. The American Cancer Society suggests that women should begin receiving annual mammograms at age 40 even though they may not be experiencing any symptoms or may not have any history of cancer in their family. Women should receive a baseline mammogram at age 35 in order for practitioners to use as a comparison for future mammograms.Women’s risk of developing breast cancer increases with:
  • A family history of the disease,
  • Menstruation at an early age,
  • Older age at birth of first child,
  • Dense breast tissue,
  • Usage of estrogen and progesterone,
  • Obesity,
  • Alcohol, and

So, take care of yourself. Schedule an appointment at 305-252-4820 to get a mammogram. Bring a friend!


Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege

We’ve all heard this before, and, I agree: health care should be a right, not a privilege.

Recently, a decision was made by the U.S. Supreme Court (King v. Burwell) to uphold the payment of premium tax credits to qualified people. The argument was over the wording of the statute providing eligibility for tax credits only to those people in states with state-operated exchanges. The court declared this claim to be invalid. The outcome of the 6-3 vote is that the Affordable Care Act may provide subsidies to people in every state, not just those in exchanges set up by the states themselves.

In front of the U.S. Supreme Court, on the day of the King v. Burwell decision.

What many of us may not have heard of before is where to go for the best care, at the best possible cost and what is that place called? The answer? An FQHC. FQHC stands for Federally Qualified Health Center and there are nearly 1,300 such places nationwide.

Also known as community health centers, FQHCs, including Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI) have continually been rated as the most cost-efficient and effective health services program in the United States. The centers charge for services on a sliding-fee scale that is based on patients’ family income and size.

FQHCs provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, are governed by a community-based board of directors and must serve an underserved area or population. Just because they must work for “underserved” areas, don’t think you can’t find one in your neighborhood.

federally-qualified-health-centers map

FQHCs have been around for 50 years. Many are accredited by the same agencies that survey hospital systems, FQHCs care for people with health insurance (and those without insurance) and even utilize some of the latest technology, including electronic health records.

CHI and other FQHCs will remain steadfast it our commitment to meet the needs of the communities we serve.


– Blake Hall, CHI Chief Operating Officer


Upcoming School Year Might Create Anxiety in Children

Our children are constantly changing throughout the year, from physical to emotional changes.  But, there is one time of the year that academic and social demands go through the biggest change. That time is now!

Summer represents fun, sun, and a much needed break for parents and kids. It can also represent the upcoming stress of a new classroom, new teachers, new classmates, and possibly even a new school.

You may not know it by looking at them with all their unstoppable energy and constant chatter, but some of our kids could be experiencing anxiety about the new school year. Anxiety is a form of stress and can be expressed in your child (or any person for that matter) physically and emotionally. Anxiety is worry of what might happen in the future.

Here are some signs:school anxiety-clipart

  • Excessive worry most days of the week, for weeks on end,
  • Trouble sleeping at night or sleepiness during the day,
  • Restlessness or fatigue during waking hours,
  • Trouble concentrating, and
  • Irritability (anger or moodiness)

What can parents do to help alleviate this anxiety? You might think you are not equipped to handle anxiety in your child but you are. Try these tips:

  • Reassure your child that all will be well, that they have your support.
  • Do not judge them or mock them.
  • Let them know that they are not alone. Tell them a story of how you were able to deal with a similar situation.
  • Let them know if they let go they will be able to enjoy the summer and be ready for what is to come.

If you feel that this has not helped your child and that matters may be getting worse,seek help from a professional, like the ones here at CHI’s Behavioral Health Department. To make an appointment, call 305-252-4820.

Celia Mion headshot

Celia Mion-Araoz, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

July – August 2015 (English)