Esperanza Health Center eNews -
February 2020
Shaking Off the Winter Blues at EHC!
Jocelyn Cuadrado, LMSW, who serves as Esperanza's Intensive Pediatric Care Manager, and her two children had a great time at our "Shaking Off the Winter Blues" event in January!
In late January, nearly 100 community members and volunteers participated in our "Shaking Off the Winter Blues" community event at our Kensington health center site. Many different stations were available with fun activities for adults and children, including yoga, many different arts and crafts, vision boards, giant games, green space and a kids' book nook. Special thanks to UnitedHealthcare, Everence and Sunday Suppers for joining us to share about their services with our community. Said Wilma Lebron, Community Programs Coordinator with Esperanza: "As this was my first event as a new employee, it was really nice to see all the hard work come together! I really enjoyed the community members getting excited about putting together vision boards."

The event was held as part of the Heart of Kensington Collective Impact 2022 collaborative, of which Esperanza is a partner together with Impact Services, the McPherson Square Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, Mural Arts Philadelphia and Street Soccer USA. "It was so great to see all the partner organizations come together to provide resources and a fun, safe environment for families to enjoy together," said Jennifer Acosta, Community Health and Wellness Coordinator at Esperanza.
Shaking the Winter Blues Jan 2020
Photo credit: Gina Rodriguez, LA Studio
Justice in Action, Helping People in Need
Esperanza's Medical-Legal Community Partnership with Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Despite the black mold that Carmen*, a patient of Esperanza Health Center, first noticed in her rented house in 2010, and even after receiving a positive mold test result in 2016, her landlord refused to remediate the mold. Carmen's concerns about her family's breathing problems grew. She then sought out the assistance of attorney James Tiderington of Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA), who provides on-site legal assistance for Esperanza's patients, after she experienced breathing problems. James advised Carmen that she had the right to withhold her rent money in escrow. The landlord retaliated by filing an eviction action against Carmen in landlord/tenant court. She was represented in court by James, where they won the case. As a result of the court's ruling, the landlord paid to have the mold properly remediated, removing the threat to the health of Carmen and her family, and the eviction matter was withdrawn. Carmen's story is but one of many examples of how Esperanza's Medical-Legal Community Partnership (MLCP) with PLA has had a significant impact, by advocating for and seeking justice for our patients and community members.
In our partnership, James Tiderington, Esq. (photo, L) works as a lawyer on site at all three of Esperanza's locations, providing legal assistance to patients while working closely with clinicians and other staff members on a case-by-case basis. Another PLA team member, Erin Davison (photo, R) is developing the capacity of the MLCP to serve the socio-legal needs of clients in the city who are impacted by the opioid crisis, including patients at Esperanza. Also working on the MLCP to support patients at Esperanza is Owen Gomory (photo, L), who recently joined the staff at PLA as a National Health Corps member and paralegal.
In 2017, Esperanza's Department of Community Health and Wellness began to develop a relationship with PLA that eventually led to the development of the new MLCP. With the help of Philadelphia Futures interns, an initial step was to create a Legal Needs Assessment to identify key legal needs among our patients.
Below is a summary of some key findings, which reflect the significant poverty in our North Philadelphia community, where 40% of the nearly 280,000 residents live at or below 100% of the federal poverty level.
  • Esperanza's patients often struggle with covering basic costs of living: 44% of patients said they are concerned about their ability to afford medicines, 44% stated that they have been unable to pay their rent or mortgage, and 38% said that they did not have sufficient healthy food in their home.
  • 55% of patients indicated a need related to housing or utilities.
  • Patients indicated a strong need for legal aid, with an average of 3.4 legal needs per patient, and 81% said that they would use free legal services at Esperanza if they were available.
  • Also, the cost of legal services and unfamiliarity with the legal system were frequently mentioned by patients as significant barriers to accessing legal assistance.
This information was then used to inform the services that the new MLCP would provide to best address patients' needs. Since the start of 2019, the MLCP has served more than 80 cases that have been brought by Esperanza's patients. We are thankful for the support that James, Erin and Owen provide for our patients through the MLCP, and we look forward to growing and building this partnership in 2020 and beyond!

(* Note: name has been changed to protect the patient's identity).
Your generous gift to Esperanza today will enable our care provider teams to provide compassionate, comprehensive care and much-needed services, such as medical-legal services, social services assistance, nutrition counseling and many others. Thank you for considering a gift to Esperanza!
Join the Esperanza Team!
We're seeking qualified professional individuals to join our team! At present we have many job openings across a range of clinical and administrative departments. Please visit our website's Opportunities page to learn more about our current openings and to apply.

Watch this short video below as a number of our staff members share about their experiences and what it's like to serve our patients and community as part of the Esperanza Health Center team:
Our Mission:
“Compelled by the love of God in Christ Jesus, in cooperation with the Church and others,  Esperanza Health Center  is a multi-cultural ministry providing holistic healthcare to the Latino and underserved communities
of Philadelphia.”