The gradual decline in the availability of medical services for the North Omaha community in the 1970s provided the stimulus for the creation of the Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. (CDHC) And thus, the CDHC was incorporated. In the beginning, the center provided basic medical services at one location.
CDHC opened its doors, offering women, infants, and children support services through the State of Nebraska’s WIC program.The program was operated in an Omaha Housing Authority facility in collaboration with Creighton University.Even before medical and dental services were available, CDHC demonstrated a strong commitment to families and to the most vulnerable of our community – our babies!
The first permanent home for CDHC was a converted laundromat located at 2201 North 30th Street. Former Senator J. Robert Kerrey and Congressman Peter Hoagland were instrumental in securing federal funding to renovate the laundromat and convert it into a viable clinic.
It was agreed that the health center would be named after Charles Richard Drew, M.D., who was a surgeon and pioneer in the preservation of blood plasma.
Charles Drew Health Center Inc. expanded its health care service delivery system to include an expansive initiative to increase HIV/AIDS testing and counseling in North Omaha.The Health Center’s pediatric health care services and WIC program moved to the former Johnson Medical Building at 2912 Manderson Street.
With the completion of the new 13,500 square foot facility, the CDHC WIC clinic was relocated from the Business and Technology Center at 2505 North 24th Street into the former clinic at 2201 North 30th Street.Additionally, the Health Center’s Health Education and Training services were relocated to the former clinic.
In 2007, CDHC completed a $4 million capital campaign that added an additional 13,500 square feet to the existing structure.The expansion doubled the number of exam rooms, created space for the Health Center’s WIC and infant mortality initiative Omaha Healthy Start, and expanded the pharmacy andlaboratory area. The expansion also included a full kitchen for cooking and nutrition classes forpatients with diabetes and weight management needs.
The Health Center has grown from operating at four locations to operating at 12 locations.Interpreter needs have grown from limited Spanish interpretation to the need for interpreters that speak more than 15 different languages.
As we prepare our patients and our community to navigate the many changes associated with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, our certified patient-centered medical home status demands that we work in partnership with the best specialty care, technology, and pharmaceutical treatments available.
Our community members are patients. Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. remains committed to providing quality comprehensive health care in a manner that acknowledges the dignity of our patients, the strength and uniqueness of family, and the important role that the community plays in assuring that we never lose sight of our desire to “grow a healthy community” for generations to come.