One of the annual processes at El Rio Health is the completion of a community assessment—identifying where people need improved access to care and where an El Rio health center may add value to the neighborhoods and surrounding community.
About three years ago, the community assessment identified the central area of Tucson around Grant Road and Alvernon Way as an area of need. In addition, the Pima County Health Needs Assessment in 2018 also identified central Tucson as an area of great need for the community. Eighty-seven percent of people in this area live at 200% of federal poverty level or below, 48% have poor mental health, 82% report linguistic isolation, 90% are single parent households, and 85% report poor or fair health.
Demographics include women and children, working adults and the elderly, hence, a great place for an El Rio integrated health center. El Rio’s integrated health center model provides medical care, dental care, behavioral healthcare, as well as, laboratory, radiology, advocacy services and pharmacies—all in one single location.
With El Rio’s care of over 113,000 community members, the clinical data shows improved completion of preventative services such as immunizations, screenings for various chronic diseases, dental cleanings and regular filling of medications when an easy “one stop health center” is available.
This translates to not only better health and quality of life for people, but savings in healthcare expenditures. In addition, with many women and children in this neighborhood, El Rio will also provide women’s and children services in this new location in the Dodge Flower Ward 3 neighborhood.
The new El Rio Health-Grant Health Center will be in the former Wells Fargo Bank building located at Grant Rd. and Dodge Blvd. This is an economic opportunity zone located on a major bus line. The 30,000 sq. ft building will provide easily accessible healthcare for approximately 10,000 community members insured and uninsured, with expanded hours and opportunities for telehealth visits. The expected completion date is the end of the first quarter 2021.
El Rio looks forward to helping improve health outcomes, safety and social progress in this diverse part of the community.