Boca Helping Hands Partners with FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing to Provide Extended Healthcare Services
Jul 21, 2021
BOCA HELPING HANDS PARTNERS WITH FAU CHRISTINE E. LYNN COLLEGE OF NURSING TO PROVIDE EXTENDED HEALTHCARE SERVICES
Boca Raton, FL (June 19, 2021)— Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is partnering with the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing to provide more people in West Palm Beach with healthcare services at the FAU/Northwest Community Health Alliance Community Health Center. Boca Helping Hands will help fund the cost of serving uninsured individuals by providing vouchers for primary care and behavioral healthcare visits at the two clinics, expanding access to these needed services.
Currently, Boca Helping Hands provides healthcare vouchers through Genesis Community Health clinics to serve low-to-moderate income clients in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. This new partnership with FAU’s College of Nursing will expand healthcare access to populations in need of these services but who are outside the reach of the locations of the Genesis clinics.
The neighborhoods near FAU’s two Community Health Centers in West Palm Beach are comprised predominantly of Black and Hispanic residents who live below 200% of the federal poverty level. Many of these residents have chronic health conditions and low levels of health education, factors which also made them some of the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The communities were two of the areas most brutally hit in Palm Beach County, both in the rate of cases and deaths.
People in poverty often lack the health literacy and access to resources needed to develop sustained care partnerships essential for their long-term health and well-being. FAU’s Community Health Centers are strategically located in these medically underserved areas. Becoming embedded in the community and through collaborations with additional neighborhood partners, such as local churches, the clinics engender trust with prospective patients and are better able to communicate the need for preemptive health assessments.
“BHH is privileged to be able to partner with the FAU Community Health Center to extend access to affordable healthcare to clients in West Palm Beach,” said Greg Hazle, Boca Helping Hands Executive Director. “Combined with our existing partnership with Genesis Community Health, this will help uninsured clients throughout Palm Beach County to obtain much needed medical, dental and behavioral care.”
Needs assessments conducted by health departments and a community organization working with FAU found the service area has a tremendous need for additional accessible medical and behavioral health services. More than 20% of the population is uninsured, compared to 15% in Florida and the county. In partnering with FAU’s College of Nursing, Boca Helping Hands is moving toward meeting that need and expanding its healthcare program reach into northern Palm Beach County.
“We are delighted to partner with Boca Helping Hands on this exciting opportunity,” said Safiya George, Ph.D., APRN-BC, FAANP, Dean and Professor at FAU’s College of Nursing. “It will tremendously benefit uninsured residents and patients in West Palm Beach, especially those with the greatest need in the Westgate and Northwest neighborhoods that surround our Community Health Centers.”
The FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing faculty will also be helping with mentorship and job placement of Certified Nursing Assistants who participate in the Boca Helping Hands Job Training Program.
In addition to working with FAU’s College of Nursing, Boca Helping Hands has also been partnering with the FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine’s Medical Post Baccalaureate Program, which is designed to give students who have the motivation, desire, and commitment for medical school the additional skills and experience that can propel them to become competitive applicants. The 2020-2021 academic year was the inaugural year of this program, through which Boca Helping Hands provided community service learning opportunities. BHH had seven post-Baccalaureate students volunteer bi-weekly to assist with client intake for its hunger relief programs over the past year, and in the coming year, this partnership will continue to provide more medical-school hopefuls with valuable client-facing interactions while helping those in need in the community.
For assistance with healthcare services, please visit https://nursing.fau.edu/outreach/fau-community-health-center/index.php or call 561-803-8880 to receive a voucher and make an appointment with the FAU Community Health Centers in West Palm Beach. Alternatively, you can visit one of the four BHH pantry bag distribution sites to receive a voucher that can be redeemed at Genesis Community Health clinics located in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. For more information on hours and locations to receive a voucher, please visit https://bocahelpinghands.org/GenesisHealthcare .
About Boca Helping Hands
Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a community-based nonprofit that provides food, medical and financial assistance to meet basic human needs as well as education, job training and guidance to create self-sufficiency. Through its various assistance programs, BHH supports over 27,000 people annually.
BHH distributes more than 80,000 pantry bags each year at five Palm Beach County locations and serves over 90,000 hot meals annually, six days per week. The organization expands access to affordable medical, dental and behavioral care through its partnerships with Genesis Community Health (serving clients at clinics in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach) and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Community Based Clinics (serving residents in West Palm Beach). BHH sends weekend meals home with food-insecure elementary school students via the BHH Backpacks Program and assists working families with the rising cost of childcare through the Children’s Assistance Program (CAP).
With an increased focus on client self-sufficiency, BHH awards scholarships for qualified candidates to attend accredited vocational training classes that prepare them for careers in the healthcare, information technology, and transportation industries. BHH also offers free English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes and courses in nutrition and other life skills. Staff and volunteer mentors counsel the unemployed and underemployed in basic workplace skills and help them polish resumes and search for jobs.
Boca Helping Hands is a partner agency of The Town of Palm Beach United Way. Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has been committed to improving lives and building strong communities throughout Palm Beach County by focusing on programs and priorities that promote education, health, and financial stability.
Charity Navigator named Boca Helping Hands a Four-Star Charity for the 15th consecutive year in June of 2021. Boca Helping Hands is located at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, FL 33432. For more information, please visit BocaHelpingHands.org.
About the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing
FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is nationally and internationally known for its excellence and philosophy of caring science. The College was ranked No.11 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in 2021 for “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Administration Programs” and No. 32 for the “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs.” In 2020, FAU graduates earned a 95.9% percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and 100% AGNP Certification Pass Rate. FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). For more information, visit nursing.fau.edu .
About Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu .
Boca Helping Hands Contact: Debbie Abrams
FAU Contact: Gisele Galoustian