Covered by God’s Love
When Dr. Hannah Pounds first started working with the Ninth Ward community in New Orleans, she found her patients often had to travel great distances to access the care they needed. There were no health centers in the area; no doctors, no clinics, and no pharmacies.
Today, Dr. Pounds and her team at Baptist Community Health Services (BCHS) are administering COVID-19 vaccines right in the center of the community. Patients who previously had to take several modes of transportation to see a doctor are able to receive top-notch medical care down the street from their house.
As a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), BCHS sees patients with and without insurance. No one is ever turned away due to inability to pay. Patients without insurance receive financial discounts determined by the clinic and the patient following a sliding fee scale, which is set by the US Government.
After launching in primary care, another series of grants allowed BCHS to expand into mental health care, achieve FQHC status, and purchase two pediatric clinics that would double their patient base.
Founded in 2014, Dr. Pounds says early funding from BCM’s grantmaking was integral in allowing their consultants to define the areas of most need. With their mission to demonstrate the love of Christ by providing high quality medical and behavioral healthcare to the community of New Orleans, it was an easy fit for BCM. “We were honored to follow the will of God pouring out his love in a real and tangible way and to be an expression of his care,” said Dr. Pounds.
Dr. Pounds maintains that all of this success would have not been possible without investment and belief from BCM. She says BCM immediately understood and valued their goal of caring for the whole family when they come to BCHS clinics. “BCM cares deeply about the community itself,” said Dr. Pounds. “One thing their grants allowed us to do is focus on community outreach, a role that was only possible because of those grants.”
At BCHS the vision is to care for the whole person. To see that person thrive outside of their 30-minute medical visit, they offer assistance with nutrition, housing, education and more. Dr. Pounds quotes her former colleague, Faye Davis, noting that care at BCHS is given “from birth until you leave the earth, we’ve got you covered. Becoming a part of the fabric of the community is as important for the team as providing quality medical care. And, to the people of this community, both were warmly welcomed.