Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HRSA) as a “Health Center Quality Leader.” CHI received the award for placing among the top 30 percent nationwide in clinical quality measures.

“This award shows our commitment to providing top quality care,” said Brodes H. Hartley Jr., President/CEO at CHI. “Our patients can expect that we will always go above and beyond to strive for the best outcomes so that they can lead healthy lives.”

HRSA awarded the designation by comparing CHI’s clinical quality measures to more than 13,000 other health centers throughout the United States.

“Thank you for your commitment to providing quality primary health care services to your community,” wrote George Sigounas, MS, Ph.D, HRSA Administrator in a letter accompanying the award.
Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI) started out as a beacon of hope for the uninsured more than 45 years ago. Today, it has grown into a comprehensive nonprofit health care company that cares for nearly 83,000 insured and uninsured patients every year. It has 11 health centers spanning from Coconut Grove into the Keys. It also has 35 school-based health centers and a teaching health center. CHI is accredited by the Joint Commission and recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance as a Level III Patient Centered Medical Home and CHI was the 2nd Federally Qualified Health Center in the nation to be designated as a Behavioral Health Medical Home. CHI is also the winner of the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award.

CHI has a one-stop shopping model that allows patients to utilize several services in one location. It has primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN, dental, behavioral health, vision, urgent care, pharmacy, radiology and laboratory services. CHI even offers free transportation for patients going to and from doctor’s appointments and delivers low-cost prescriptions at no delivery charge.
CHI is also home to the Brodes Hartley Jr. Teaching Health Center. The residency programs are accredited by the American Osteopathic Association and transitioning to Accreditation Counsel on Graduate Medical Education.

For more information, visit our website at


Intense concern and worry over funding is alleviated after Congress passed legislation to fix the health center funding cliff with a two-year extension and $600 million in additional dollars to further support health center operations and address unmet needs.  The news came as a huge comfort to Community Health of South Florida Inc. (CHI) and other community health centers nationwide who had been waiting on reauthorization of funding since October 2017.

The good news didn’t stop there. Congress also reauthorized funding for two years for Teaching Health Center GME programs such as the Brodes H. Hartley Teaching Health Center at Community Health of South Florida, Inc. CHI’s teaching health center develops and trains medical residents to address a looming shortage of primary care physicians. The extension of funding for that program helps realign finances by closely linking them to the true cost of training physicians in primary care specialties

“This is a win, win situation for everyone,” said Brodes H. Hartley Jr., President and CEO of CHI. “It’s a win for the of 83,000 patients that we care for every year. We manage diseases for them, heal their ailments and care for them physically and mentally. This is also a win for our employees who devote themselves to caring for these people and a win for our residents learning to care for a diverse population.”

The victory comes just days after an all-out advocacy effort. CHI employees adorned themselves in red to show a passion and urgency for healthcare funding. The National “Red Alert Day,” on February 6th prompted CHI staff and people across the country to post photos on social media and make phone calls and emails to U.S. Congressional and Senate leaders urging them to address the funding cliff facing community health centers nationwide. The health of 27 million Americans was in jeopardy. Those people rely on Community Health Centers to provide high quality, affordable healthcare. 

Licensed Mental Health Technician and Coordinator for Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement, Celia Mion, wore red pants on Red Alert Day in honor of CHI’s mission.

“I really believe in bringing healthcare to all people,” said Mion. “We need it not only for people who can’t afford it, but also the people who rely on these programs to improve their lives regardless of economics.”

Latricia Segura-Branch PharmD, a pharmacist at CHI wore a large red flower in her hair along with fellow pharmacy staff. She knows the dire need and said without support for life-saving medications and medication management services that community health centers provide, patients are in danger. 

“If there were no pharmacies in community health centers especially 340B pharmacies, patients would go without the proper medications that they need,” said Segura-Branch.

According to the National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC) the extension of funds secures healthcare for27 million patients by ensuring thousands of sites will be able to keep their doors open.

For those tasked with the job of molding the next generation of doctors, reauthorization of funding for teaching health centers is a big burden relieved from their hearts and minds.

“Traditionally underserved rural and urban areas face the greatest challenges recruiting physicians,” said Dr. Saint Anthony Amofah, Chief Academic Officer and Chief Medical Officer. “We are so grateful that the federal government is helping with this investment to grow our own physicians. This goes a long way in addressing key healthcare gaps among some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care Program

Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care Program

We held a brunch on Saturday to honor the foster parents in our Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care Program. These parents really do some miraculous work with some of the most difficult children. They have turned lives around and been the saving grace for so many. CHI wanted to show these men and women that we appreciate what they do day in and day out.

Are Health Care Professionals Held to a Higher Personal Health Standard?

As a health care professional, should I be held to a higher standard for personal health?

As I type this blog entry, a half empty bag of red, white and blue peanut M&M’s sits on my desk and the yellow one on the cover of the bag is smiling at me. The good thing is that I’ve been sharing them. The bad thing is that I’ve been eating the majority and have since passed the recommended serving size at least a couple times.

So, the question I want an answer to is, should I – or better yet, could I – pull myself to eat better? After all, one of my unknown nicknames in college was “Snackers.” This was largely due to my ability to put away a family size bag of Doritos and soda or other obscene serving of junk food at a single 30 minute or less sitting and act like nothing happened. Granted, that was half a lifetime ago where I was nearly 40 pounds lighter, exercised almost daily and had the metabolism to match. Today, with three kids, occasional long work hours and only working out at home when I get five minutes instead of an hour at a gym, things are a little different. But, it’s not like I’m overweight. Or, at least that’s my opinion. My BMI would say otherwise. But as anyone who is on top of their game in their industry, don’t they all do whatever they can from every angle to stay on top? If that’s the case, should all people who work in the health care industry strive to achieve excellence in personal health?

On one side of the coin, people say obesity is a disease; and the United States is the second most obese industrial country in the world. On the other side of the coin, some think and say that obesity is not a disease and that it’s largely the result of lack of exercise and overeating. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, actually classifies obesity as a behavioral risk factor. So, essentially, as a health care professional, on both sides of the coin, am I being detrimental to my industry (not to even mention myself) by not being as optimally healthy of a person as possible?Healthy Selfie Blake Hall

On June 11, 2015, the “Healthy Self” campaign was launched by the Obama administration. Among many things, this campaign is a joint effort between the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services to promote healthy living. As of today, I’m going to participate in this campaign. It may not be right of me to ask or say that everyone in health care should be on a path to personal excellence in health, but as I strive to be on the top of my profession, I think it’s a step in the right direction.

Part of this pledge is to post any activity that shows commitment to being healthy and using #HealthySelfie on social media.  Your Healthy Selfie may show up on the White House’s website!Healthy Selfie Surgeon General


Welcome to CHI’s blog!

Health Care News

Community Health of South Florida Inc.’s blog contains health tips, current medical news from infectious diseases to up-to-date advancements including treatments and medications, as well as columns from providers. This blog is an opportunity for CHI to share relevant and important health care information to encourage preventative care and a work-life balance.

Laptop with stethoscope

Please use this forum to start a conversation, by asking questions that our providers will answer, to help you understand sometimes complicated medical information. CHI truly cares about its patients and wants you to live the best, healthy life possible.

CHI, where “Patient Care Comes First.”

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