EHC Sock Drive
A Gift of Hope and Help for Our Community
As part of the Christmas planning committee at Esperanza, Wilma Lebron, Community Programs Coordinator for our Community Health & Wellness department, decided she wanted to give the gift of hope to the Kensington community a little differently for the holidays. With this in mind, Wilma and Emily Pagán, HR Generalist at Esperanza, paired up to spearhead the event.

“My mind automatically went to service, especially during Christmas time where it’s always good to do something for others and recognize our place in the community,” said Wilma after expressing her commitment to this great responsibility.

She proposed that a sock drive should be coordinated at all EHC locations with the help of Pamela Draper from Mural Arts Philadelphia, a public figure in charge of distributing the donated items on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the storefront of the Kensington Corridor. 

"We did a little research and learned that socks and hygiene products are the main resources in need for our displaced community,” expressed Wilma. “Unfortunately, many don’t have shoes so they walk around in socks and those will get dirty pretty quickly. Socks tend to be the number one thing they will ask for.”

Our staff responded well to the need, delivering all bins nearly full. Still, some staff members have continued to donate more items and it appears that the drive is an ongoing commitment. Said Wilma: “For me, it was like an out-of-body experience! Despite COVID, it has given me a unique experience being at a new job, and I was honored to serve on the committee. It was really satisfying to see an idea that I contributed to come to fruition."
Esperanza Staff Receive COVID Vaccine
On January 4th, Esperanza Health Center received the first shipment of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines which was given to our staff and frontline healthcare workers. The medical providers quickly sprung to action and received their first dose (photo).
We know many of our patients are interested in receiving the vaccine. As of the date of this eNews, the timeline is uncertain as to when we will be able to offer vaccines to our patients who are now eligible to receive them. We plan to notify everyone with updates to our website often - please visit the COVID vaccine information and resources page. We would ask that Esperanza Health Center patients please not call our main number with questions about the vaccine or to make a vaccine appointment - patients should instead visit our website for updates, and we will contact patients to ask if they wish to receive the vaccine. The process of providing vaccines for all of our patients, and in our city and nationally, will take many months - thanks for your patience.  
For additional COVID information and resources, please visit our website:
Blair Vanderkin, RN, triage nurse, administers the vaccine to Jen Rice, clinical supervisor.
EHC's head nurse, Sandra Collazo-Lopez, RN, after receiving her vaccine!
Family medicine physician Dominic Derenge, DO receives his vaccine.
COVID Vaccine Support
Volunteers WANTED!
Volunteers are urgently sought to provide vaccination support for Esperanza Health Center sites in Hunting Park and Kensington.
These volunteers will assist with registering, screening, educating, and monitoring persons who receive a COVID vaccine. Skills needed:

  • Applications are accepted from those who speak only English, though bilingual (Spanish-English) preferred  
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer literacy
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Dependability

To learn more about this and other volunteer opportunities at Esperanza Health Center, please visit our website at, which is updated regularly.
If you have any questions, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Karen Norris at

For more information please refer to the CDC website:
Special Feature: Esperanza Welcomes Katharine DeSouza
Katharine DeSouza, RD, LDN, joined Esperanza in 2020 as a Registered Dietitian. She likes to be associated by her nickname ‘Kitty’ since she has gone by that name since kindergarten. Kitty grew up in a small town in the mountains of New Hampshire, and describes her childhood as being “surrounded by God’s majesty.” She graduated from La Salle University with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, where she chose to pursue studies in healthcare after noticing how a lack of access to resources affected the lives of people she knew.

Her decision to work in nutrition came after experiencing how food insecurity affects the holistic wellbeing of a person. Kitty’s passion is to use food to help people feel well and whole while lowering their chances of chronic illness.

“I started working at Esperanza Health Center as an intern and enjoyed working so closely with the patient population. I felt drawn to Esperanza’s mission of caring for patients through Christ and felt that God had led me to work here.”

For her future patients, Kitty shares how she would like to make living a healthy lifestyle achievable and sustainable for every person. Her personal goal is to help people feel empowered by their own health choices. Fun fact: She has family who lives all across the U.S. and who have visited/traveled through 25 states.
EHC Celebrates 90-year-old Patient
by Amy Liao, DDS, Dentist

When I saw her on the schedule and that she was turning 90 that month, I knew we had to do something to recognize this milestone, in contrast to the backdrop of a grief-filled 2020. It is rare that I see patients over age 80, and phenomenal to see a patient in their 90s, especially when our community's average life expectancy is lower than the national average.

Since we were trying to maintain social distance, I invited coworkers to email any birthday greetings or encouraging scriptures for her, which I could transfer to a card. Some dental team members presented the card to her (along with an EHC water bottle!) a few days before her actual birthday. She told me before that she was in line at EHC's grand opening 31 years ago - one of the first patients!
Apply To Our Ministry and Serve With Us!
We're actively hiring qualified professionals who seek to share in our mission to provide Christ-centered, quality health care services. Please visit our Career Center where you can view every open position and apply online! Positions are regularly updated at this site. Highlighted below are some of our top priority hiring opportunities as of 1/28/2020:

Vaccine & Testing Support Coordinator
The Vaccine and Testing Support Coordinator (VTSC) is responsible for the coordinating efforts of the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine to patients. The VTSC will interact directly with clinical and clerical departments to establish workflows, facilitate staffing, create communication avenues and establish access pathways for patients and the community at large for vaccine administration times. The VTSC will interact directly with the public in person and via phone. The VTSC will also provide direct support services on vaccine administration days as well as supervise the supportive services provided by staff and volunteers. The Vaccine and Testing Support Coordinator will support and assist in the organizational Covid testing efforts. Data collection and data submission to officiating agencies will be the responsibility of the Vaccine and Testing Support Coordinator. 
Vaccine & Testing Outreach Assister
The Vaccine and Testing Outreach Assister (VTOA) is responsible for delivering excellent customer service that is friendly, accurate, and efficient. The VTOA is responsible for obtaining and entering accurate and complete insurance verifications, demographics, financial information, and other elements that make up the start of the Esperanza Revenue Cycle. The VTOA is responsible for interacting with health center patients and community personnel via phone and in-person to facilitate access to vaccine administration and Covid testing. Scheduling, phone outreach, Covid testing, and vaccine education are integral parts of the position. The VTOA reports to the Vaccine and Testing Support Coordinator and helps support organizational functions across all three sites, related to patient care in the midst of the pandemic. Success in this position may lead to a full-time clerical assistant position.
Grants & Revenue Analyst
Under the direct supervision of the Associate Finance Director, the Grants and Revenue Analyst is responsible for reconciling general ledger reports with patient billing, donor database, 340B dispensary, and other revenue lines; assists with monthly revenue entries and internal controls; grants management in budget development, reporting and oversight; tracks overall grant performance for reporting and management purposes; assists with compliance and reporting support work; key performance indicators for patient billing performance; audit support work; and as needed financial tasks to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of accounting records and financial reports in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
Behavioral Health Consultant (LCSW, Psy.D)
Esperanza Health Center seeks a full-time Behavioral Health Consultant to serve as a member of the primary care provider team providing brief, immediate behavioral health support and interventions as part of integrated primary care services. Refers patients, when appropriate, to social services and external psychiatric counseling.

Dental Assistant
Esperanza Health Center seeks a full-time Dental Assistant. The Dental Assistant is responsible for assisting the Dentists and Dental Hygienists in the direct provision of dental services to patients of the center. The Dental Assistant is also responsible for sterilization, preparation, and inventory control of dental instruments and supplies. Other responsibilities include dental radiography, equipment maintenance, oral health education, monitoring patient flow, and assisting the Dental Administrator as needed. Position includes some Saturday shifts.

Associate Director of Clinical IT
The Associate Director of Clinical IT will serve as a member of the Information Technology department supporting the day-to-day operations of Esperanza Health Center’s Clinical IT services. This includes supervising staff, supporting clinical users, and collaborating with multiple departments to improve the performance and usability of our clinical applications (Centricity EMR, EZAccess patient portal, and supporting interfaces). The Associate Director of Clinical IT will marshal IT resources to meet the immediate needs of clinical operations, and innovate to support future needs.
Cafe Manager
Phoenix Cafe’s mission is to provide accessible and approachable fresh food in North Philadelphia. Phoenix Cafe is part of Esperanza Health Center. Phoenix Cafe has one location in Hunting Park and a new flagship location in Kensington. The cafe manager will oversee both locations.