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CHICAGO (CBS) — In this day and age of ever-changing healthcare, there is a constant on the West Side.
It may look like every other doctor’s office, but this one is different. It’s called Circle Family Healthcare Network, and it’s been serving the West Side for more than 30 years.
Lynn Sanders learned of Circle while working at another non-profit and thought the organization would make a great subject for “Your Chicago.”
“I felt that they needed to get their story out so they could have more help, more donations, more volunteers, so that they could not only struggle to survive, but actually thrive in this economy,” she told CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.
Circle is faith-based, starting out of the Rock Church at Central and Washington, and provides primary care and counseling services for the people who need it most. It is sustained by some government grants, foundation dollars and whatever the patients can afford to pay.
Dr. Andre Hines is the CEO.
“Based upon a person’s income and the number of people in the household, that’s how we determine what their fee will be for the day,” she says. “If they don’t have the monies, of course we provide the service. We don’t turn anybody away.”
Circle treated 26,000 patients last year. Annette Hughes has been coming with her family for 30 years.
“It’s huge. You get to know the doctors and you know you can trust them and know that the people here care about you,” she says.
But the important, life-saving work doesn’t just happen inside the office. Circle’s doctors can also be found in the neighborhood.
A mobile health team traveling block by block provides preventive and primary care to the homeless. Dr. Thomas Huggett has been providing service now 16 years.
“Without healthcare, we really can’t do anything with our lives — it’s the essence of where we are,” Sanders said.
In all, Circle has three primary care clinics, two behavioral health sites, 23 mobile health sites, and the mobile van goes out five days a week.
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