A Message From The President & CEO

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It feels like summer is just flying by us. I hope you are enjoying some time with your families and remembering to take precautions in the extreme heat.  

We have had so much to celebrate this summer. We graduated our seventh class of doctors from the Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. Teaching Health Center program. Soon after, we welcomed in ten new residents to begin their training with a white coat ceremony.  

Many of you are now preparing to send your kids back to class and CHI is here to help. Schedule your school or sports physical now with our compassionate pediatric team and schedule an appointment with our amazing vision and dental teams to cover all the bases for the kids.  

We are excited to celebrate National Health Center Week festivities starting August 5th. This is a time where we highlight the value of community health centers all over the country, including Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI). Did you know that community health centers care for 30 million people (about the population of Texas) across the country? There are 1400 community health centers in the United States and CHI is one of the largest. We are proud to be caring for our community and ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality healthcare regardless of income or background. So, join us in learning more about CHI, the people we serve, community health centers and celebrating a week’s worth of events. You can see the schedule here:


We are also celebrating the accomplishments of a great team here at CHI. That includes our own Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Saint Anthony Amofah. He was recently awarded the Jessie Trice Hero Award from Health Choice Network. This distinguished award acknowledges his strong and strategic leadership and devotion to healthcare for all.  


Yours Truly, 




Blake Hall 

The Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. Teaching Health Center Celebrates 2023 Graduation and White Coat Ceremony

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All smiles: Teaching Health Center leadership proudly stand with the 2023 graduating class

Family medicine graduate, Dr. Katina Richardson gave her commencement speech at the seventh annual Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. Teaching Health Center graduation ceremony as her fellow graduates shared proud smiles, reflecting on their transformative residency.  

“Our paths were not easy, and the challenges were immense, but it was in these moments that we discovered our true strengths, resilience, and commitment to our professions,” she said. “CHI has given us the tools to go out and make a profound impact in the lives of our patients and community.” 

 After three long years, their special day had finally arrived. The intimate ceremony held on June 10th at Pinecrest Gardens celebrated four family medicine residents and three psychiatry resident graduates. The incredible accomplishment stood as a testament of their determination, perseverance and appetite for knowledge and growth as medical professionals.  

 A reflection of Community Health of South Florida’s Inc. (CHI) commitment to community health care, this group of doctors showed the organization’s dedication to innovation and growth.  

“The strength of our program is a result of these talented residents,” said President and CEO, Blake Hall. “We are so proud of you, and we love you.”  

CHI’s Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Academic Officer of the Teaching Health Center, Dr. St. Anthony Amofah, smiled from ear to ear as he addressed the graduates in an emotional speech.  

 “Congratulations to the graduates, you did it!” he said. “We thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your training. Graduation is not the end but rather, the beginning of a beautiful journey for you.”  

Keynote speaker, Chief Medical Officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers, Ron Yee and Florida State Representative, Alina Garcia, also provided touching sentiments to the graduating residents during the ceremony.  

The residents faced unique challenges during their residency, most notably a global pandemic that changed resident training and their patient care approach. However, through it all, they were able to adapt seamlessly and become better professionals. 

As one class celebrated their accomplishments, CHI then welcomed the newest resident graduates on June 26, 2023. The White Coat Ceremony was the Teaching Health Center’s ninth incoming class since its start in 2014.  

With five family medicine and five psychiatry residents, the ceremony signified an incredible milestone in their career. The room buzzed with anticipation as residents and their proud family and friends eagerly awaited the special moment. Dr. Amofah welcomed them and noted the significance of the moment.  

“We are very grateful that we get to celebrate this important milestone with you,” he said. “Faculty and program leadership reviewed about 2,500 applications to select the 10 of you. So, it is a big deal that you are here today, for you and for us.”  

The newest resident class of the Teaching Health Center pose for their first group photo at the Doris Ison Health Center.

Psychiatry resident Dr. Thaimy Del Prado expressed her elation to begin her journey as a practicing clinician in her hometown of Miami.  

“I am excited about meeting new people,” she said. “I’m looking forward to expanding my medical knowledge and giving back to my community.”  

As each resident donned their white coats, Dr. Amofah left them with an important message.   

“As you put on this white coat today, it is important that you don’t see it as a symbol of power and authority,” he said.  “When you put it on, we want you to remember it is a symbol of service to humanity. This white coat must represent big hearts, compassion, empathy, and professionalism.”   

Could a New Biosensor Be the Future of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diagnostics?

Researchers have developed a new biosensor that can detect structural changes in proteins indicative of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The sensor could aid early diagnosis of various conditions and help personalize treatment options.

Hardhat Tour


Marie Tilor, PCT, at Doris Ison Health Center

Our Compassionate Team Serving You

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Marie Tilor is a Patient Care Technician at Community Health of South Florida’s Doris Ison Health Center. Her job consists of measuring and documenting vital signs, listening to patients’ concerns, and reporting them to nurses. Tilor enjoys providing the best care and experience to her patients, ensuring that they leave their appointment with no unanswered questions or concerns. Tilor is from Haiti and moved to the United States in 2010. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her children.

Marie Tilor, PCT, at Doris Ison Health Center

Marie Tilor, PCT, at Doris Ison Health Center

Ronald McFarlane is the Food and Beverage Manager at Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI). Employed at CHI since 2014, McFarlane started as a cook until he was promoted to manager in 2016. His duties include staff scheduling, menu planning, catering for CHI events, and food budgeting for the organization. He enjoys putting a smile on people’s faces and doing his part to please others. Born and raised in the island nation of Jamaica, he loves soccer and all things technology.

Ronald McFarlane at Doris Ison Health Center

Ronald McFarlane at Doris Ison Health Center

CHI Hosts Colorectal Cancer Awareness Day

CHI physician Dr. Anoop Loke discusses with patients the signs of colorectal cancer

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As Juan Figueroa walked through the giant colon at Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) Colorectal Cancer Awareness Day at the Doris Ison Health Center, he was hopeful to receive valuable medical advice on colorectal health and cancer prevention.

He was diagnosed with diverticulitis in November 2021 and was fearful that his condition could develop into colorectal cancer.

“It has affected me physically and emotionally,” he said. “It’s been very hard dealing with this.”

In an effort to take control of his health and live a life without fear, he made the decision to attend the event.

CHI’s annual event aims to educate and provide the opportunity for patients like Figueroa to present their concerns to doctors and nurses. Patients also received free colorectal screenings.

The interactive experience included an inflatable colon that patients could walk through to see what colorectal cancer looks like. The disease occurs when abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon and rectum, and over time those polyps may develop into colorectal cancer.

Dr. Elizabeth Philippe, Chief of Family Medicine, and Program Director of the Teaching Health Center, believes that this event allows patients to be their own health advocates. She expressed the importance of being aware of the early signs of colorectal cancer.

“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. for both men and women,” she said. “If you are 45 years or older, you should request to be screened.”

Figueroa experienced extreme abdominal pain that started to affect his quality of life. The pain was so terrible that he made the decision to visit CHI for the first time in 2021 for care. Doctors prescribed him antibiotics that relieved his pain for a short while but, unfortunately, the pain soon returned.

After later undergoing a medical scan, he received the diverticulitis diagnosis. He recalls feeling terrified of what his future would look like with this condition and knew that he had to make a lifestyle change.

“Sometimes you do not want to eat because you are worried it is going to cause you pain,” he said. “The doctor gave me good pointers on what to eat today and told me that I should maintain checkups.”

Figueroa learned from doctors what diverticulitis looks like in the colon and the steps he needs to take to prevent further illness.

Despite the challenges since his diagnosis, he is now able to better treat his condition. Thanks to informative events like this, Figueroa has confidence that he will be okay.

Medicaid Recipients at Risk of Losing Health Care Coverage

42% of CHI patients are covered by Medicaid.

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If you are a Medicaid recipient, you may be at risk of losing insurance coverage and access to specialty care.

At the start of the pandemic, Congress set in place the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required state Medicaid programs to keep individuals continually enrolled during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

As the public health emergency comes to an end, so did continuous re-enrollment on April 1, 2023.

This means that your family and children could lose vital insurance coverage if appropriate action is not taken.

Patients of Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI) along with over 250,000 Medicaid recipients in Miami-Dade County will be directly affected by the end of the continuous enrollment.

Peter Wood, Vice President of Planning and Government Affairs, worries that this could be a health crisis for families of CHI and South Florida.

“Forty-two percent of people who seek care at CHI depend on Medicaid,” he said. “Families with income more than the state’s eligibility standard for Medicaid but less than the federal poverty line will lose their eligibility for Medicaid. Thousands of families and kids could experience gaps in coverage.”

Medicaid groups expected to be most at risk for eligibility interruptions

-Parents and caregivers who no longer have children under 18

-Youth that are turning 19 or 20

-Older adults with disabilities who are currently on Medicaid and are awaiting Medicare approval

-Former foster children that are turning 26

-Medically needy recipients

How to prepare for the end of Medicaid continuous enrollment

If you are a Medicaid recipient be sure to provide up-to-date personal information to the Department of Children and Families, the state agency that coordinates Medicaid benefits in Florida. This includes your mailing address as DCF will send out notices related to eligibility and further steps.

“Due to this change, it is critical to closely monitor any correspondence with DCF,” Wood said. “It is important for current Medicaid recipients to be prepared for any changes.”

If patients are no longer eligible to be re-enrolled, they should access alternative health insurance as quickly as possible to avoid large gaps in coverage.

CHI outreach staff will be on hand to aid patients in the re-enrollment process for free. To make an appointment with an enrollment specialist call (786)272-2100. CHI health centers will continue to offer services to the uninsured on an income-based payment scale.

CHI Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Children’s Crisis Center

(from left to right) President and CEO, Blake Hall, Former NBA All-Star, Glen Rice and Presenting Sponsor, Joe Sullivan of One Digital, stand together before teeing off at the CHI Golf Tournament

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On a picture-perfect day, 116 golfers teed off for a good cause at the exclusive Deering Bay Yacht & Country Club on April 3, 2023, for the CHI Golf Tournament. Celebrity guests and sponsors helped to raise an impressive $108,429 for the Children’s Crisis Center. It was a day full of fun, friendly competition, and giving back.

Blake Hall, President and CEO of Community Health of South Florida, Inc., kicked off announcements before guests made their way onto the breathtaking 18-hole, Arnold Palmer signature style golf course.

“Welcome to the 2023 CHI Golf Tournament!” he said. “I want to thank each of you for being here today.”

“Mental health and wellness support for young people is so key. After Covid, mental health statistics have gone through the roof,” Mourning said. “Providing that support is going to help the advancement of young people as they continue this tough journey in life.”

Throughout the day, celebrities and guests enjoyed lunch and refreshing drinks on the course as they competed for the top spot.

Another highlight of the event was the dinner awards ceremony. Guests gathered inside to enjoy a delicious meal and refreshments as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of the tournament were announced. A few lucky golfers also won raffle prizes as a “thank you” for their considerable donations.

(from left to right) President and CEO Blake Hall, Ryan Katz, Miami Heat legend, Glen Rice, former baseball All-Star Orlando “El Duque” Hernández and CHI Foundation Chairman, Gustavo Hermida, proudly display their 1st place award

Glen Rice gave the closing speech of the night. He reflected on the accomplishments that CHI has achieved and praised the organization’s commitment to providing support for children in the community.

“From day one, I have absolutely loved what CHI is doing for the people in the community, the young people, and the underprivileged,” he said. “As long as they continue doing what they are doing, I will always support.”

CHI Board Member, Carolyn Taylor Pates, received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award at the CHI Volunteer Services Awards

President & CEO Message

CHI Board Member, Carolyn Taylor Pates, received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award at the CHI Volunteer Services Awards

CHI Board Member, Carolyn Taylor Pates, received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award at the CHI Volunteer Services Awards

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Big things are coming at Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI). We just received the green light from permitting to begin construction on the Children’s Crisis Center, a project that will help heal and save our most fragile young people. We are also excited to soon offer our patients cardiology services.

We recently celebrated our employee awards and honored dozens of our high achievers for going above and beyond. We are so fortunate to have such a compassionate, highly skilled staff. They take our mission to heart every day and I am so grateful for them. You can see the list of awardees at chisouthfl.org/employee-awards along with photos from that day.

CHI is also fortunate to have great support from the community. We saw this as nearly 120 people came out to participate in our golf tournament. Their donations and engagement have helped us to push forward our Children’s Crisis Center project.

We have another exciting event coming up, our Women’s Health fair. This year it’s called “Put You First Women’s Wellness Fair.” It includes pampering such as massages and manicures, consults with our doctors and a section of the fair dedicated to providing resources for job assistance, housing, and more. It even includes Build-a-Bear workshop for kids! Join us May 11 here at the Doris Ison Health Center 10300 SW 216 St., Miami at 5:30pm.

Last, but certainly not least, we were so proud to host an awards ceremony recently for our volunteers. We celebrated the contributions of 16 volunteers. But the most remarkable was our long-time board member, Carolyn Taylor Pates. She received the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 9,900 hours of service! Ms. Pates comes from a long and strong lineage of women who served as leaders in our community. Her late aunt, Doris Ison, founded CHI and advocated for healthcare at the local and national level to ensure everyone had access to high quality healthcare, regardless of race, insurance status or income level. Today Ms. Pates continues her advocacy and more.


Yours Truly,





Blake Hall

Our Compassionate Team Serving You

Maurice Lee is a Warehouse Supply Technician at Community Health of South Florida, Inc. Employed at CHI since 2020, Lee is responsible for printing and delivering supplies to all 14 CHI health centers and school-based programs. A treasured part of his job is completing tasks for staff and patients that are of high importance. Lee takes pride in ensuring that CHI logistic operations run smoothly. In his free time, Lee enjoys fishing and real estate.

Maurice Lee stands in front of his CHI delivery van.

Dr. Maxwell Cardenas is a dentist at Community Health of South Florida’s Doris Ison Health Center. He performs dental procedures, and comprehensive oral examinations for his patients.  Dr. Cardenas takes pride in offering quality service to his patients and taking care of their dental needs. He loves to perform extractions and plans to continue his dental education in 2023. Originally from Nicaragua, Dr. Cardenas likes to exercise and spend time with his family on his free time.

CHI Dentist, Dr. Maxwell Cardenas at Doris Ison Health Center.