General Health

Hands-On Healing

The impending dismantling of the Affordable Care Act may once again thrust middle-, lower- and working-class folks into the abyss of shoddy or non-existent health care. Since its inception in 2010, the ACA has been the bane of many conservatives and a literal lifesaver to those in need.
With the future of America’s health-care system in serious limbo, the services provided by compassionate medical professionals like Atlanta’s Charles Moore, M.D., will likely be in greater demand.
Dr. Moore’s HEALing Community Center, founded in 2004, is a comprehensive health center in the economically diverse Southwest Atlanta neighborhood. Home of the AUC, the largest consortium of HBCUs in the world, Southwest Atlanta is speckled with a wide range of residents, from the inhabitants of huge Victorian homes in the West End to those who seek shelter under the bridges and overpasses of I-20, which traverses the area.
Seeing the immediate need for comprehensive medical care in the neighborhood prompted Dr. Moore, a Harvard-trained ear, nose and throat surgeon, to canvas the area toting medical supplies to aid the area’s indigent residents in need of medical intervention, mostly urgent care, which made him realize preventive and comprehensive care would make a world of difference.
The center started—literally—in the streets, with Dr. Moore utilizing supplies he transported in his car. As he saw the magnitude of the positive effect his work had on the community, he enlisted the aid of other medical professionals, and many benefactors stepped in. Emory University Hospital Midtown and Medshare, a medical supply company, offered $60,000 in supplies to the facility built to house Dr. Moore’s brainchild, an 8,000-square-foot clinic, which Georgia Tech students helped design. The schools surrounding the area benefit as well, with Morehouse Medical School students and graduates volunteering health-care services.
“Nowhere will you find a staff of medical professionals and community advocates more dedicated to quality service,” said Ava Morton, the clinic’s director of development.
The space, which opened its doors in June 2011, offers a wide array and ever-expanding variety of comprehensive medical services, including dental care, HIV testing and counseling, behavioral health, vision care, pediatrics and OB/GYN care. It has the facilities to perform outpatient surgery and partners with local shelters to help patients transition to stability.
Dr. Moore’s vision for the HEALing Community Center is to address the whole patient, so it also offers social services emphasizing the importance of health maintenance to make sure minor problems don’t morph into major maladies.
Other ventures in Dr. Moore’s holistic approach toward integrative medicine include establishing a community garden in the area, often described as a “food desert” because of the dearth of fresh, affordable and healthy food options, and partnering with local facilities that encourage healthy habits, like the historic Washington Park Tennis Center.
The HEALing Community Center is steadfastly changing the landscape of the neighborhood, located in U.S. Representative John Lewis’ 5th congressional district, one life at a time. By treating the whole person and whole families, the ripple effect of the center’s influence is reaching far and wide.

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