New Roosevelt Health Center provides access to care for underserved area

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Two nonprofits, Terros Health and Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, teamed up to create Roosevelt Health Center, a first-in-the-nation health equity model of care in an overlooked and underserved area of central Phoenix. Residents will have access to comprehensive primary care, evidence-based mental health and substance use treatment and a host of wrap-around services.

To discuss the new health center, Arizona Horizon spoke with Steve Tepper, Executive Director of the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Dr. Vanna Campion, Chief Medical Officer of Terros Health.

It’s all part of an effort to improve the health and promote social inclusion and independence for underserved individuals and those living with disabilities. The Roosevelt Health Center was also just designated a Federally Qualified Health Center, enabling residents to get care regardless of their ability to pay.

“We’re going to be offering primary care services, psychiatric services, mental health services, such as individual counseling and group counseling, as well as substance abuse treatment at this center,” Campion said.

Tepper initially created the ACBVI to create a safe haven for those who are blind, visually impaired, hard of hearing or have a combination of hearing and vision loss. This was also a push for affordable, equitable and accessible access to health care.

“Once we started down that path and took a look at the community around us, and the needs that they had, and their access to equity in health care, we immediately decided that the project could get larger and reached out to Terros to try and figure out how we could together partner to create this federally qualified health center,” Tepper said.

Terros got involved largely because of the COVID pandemic. ACBVI asked them to provide a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at their site due to the complications of receiving a vaccination faced by the visually impaired.

“The reason why it’s so important that we have health care there at the center is to be able to really reach people before they’re in need of emergent services,” Campion said.

Steve Tepper, Executive Director of the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Dr. Vanna Campion, Chief Medical Officer of Terros Health

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