Highlighting Positive Community News and Stories from the Greater Coatesville Area

How The Equity Health Center is Helping Coatesville

Apr 18, 2024 | Coatesville, The Alliance for Health Equity

Community members from the Greater Coatesville area got a first-hand look at the Equity Health Center (EHC) and met representatives from multiple providers during EHC’s Ribbon Cutting and Open House on Thursday, April 11, at the new center located at 744 East Lincoln Highway, 4th floor, in the Brandywine Center in Coatesville. Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Williams; Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Josh Maxwell; Community Partner Rev. Dr. Linwood Smith Jr.; President and CEO of ChesPenn Health Services Susan Harris; President and CEO of The Alliance for Health Equity (The AHE) Kevin Ressler; and Equity Health Center Coordinator for The AHE Moira Gassenmeyer welcomed attendees and introduced them to the services and resources available in-person at EHC’s location as well as virtually through its website Equityhealthcenter.org.

Founded in 2023, Equity Health Center is a collaboration between The Alliance for Health Equity and The Health Equity Group (formerly the Greater Coatesville Hospital Closure Group). Financial support for EHC comes from the Chester County Commissioners’ American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Speaking on behalf of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, Chair Josh Maxwell said, “Support for the Equity Health Center was a perfect fit for the purpose of the County’s ARPA funds because it will benefit so many people in Coatesville and the surrounding area. It has always been the mission of The Alliance for Health Equity to provide access to quality health care for everyone in and around this City, and the closing of Brandywine Hospital spurred on community collaboration that has resulted in this Equity Health Center.  

“The County did not hesitate to invest in this Center, and we will continue to work with The Alliance for Health Equity and partners to strengthen this community.”

The goal of EHC is to build an integrated healthcare ecosystem to meet the needs of all residents in the Greater Coatesville area. EHC’s physical location on the 4th floor of the Brandywine Center co-locates partners such as Community Volunteers in Medicine, who serve those without insurance. This joins the preexisting dental and medical services provided by ChesPenn on the first floor, primarily funded by grants from The Alliance for Health Equity, and affordable senior living facilities on the second and third floor, also supported by The AHE.

Through its website, Equityhealthcenter.org, it also provides digital access to health services and a wide range of resources to help eliminate barriers to accessing health services. 

“Equity Health Center provides a great opportunity to address health care needs in the Greater Coatesville area,” says Rev. Dr. Linwood Smith, Jr., Community Partner. “Accessibility has been a critical issue since the closing of Tower Health’s Brandywine Hospital. Now, within walking distance for many residents, quality health care, dental and many other services that normally would not be in reach are readily available.”

The event included free blood pressure screenings, facility tours, free raffle prizes and refreshments, as well as the opportunity to meet representatives from the following care providers:

·       ChesPenn Health Services

·       Chester County Hospital

·       Coatesville Center for Community Health

·       Coatesville YMCA

·       Coatesville Youth Initiative

·       Community Volunteers in Medicine

·       Family Services, Inc.

·       Maternal and Child Health Consortium

·       Transportation Management Association of Chester County

‘‘It was a privilege for our team to welcome community members to the ribbon cutting of the Equity Health Center,” said Kevin Ressler, President and CEO of The Alliance for Health Equity. “It marked the culmination of years of idea generating, planning and now launching a central location where community members can access a variety of health care services. The services we provide were defined and designed so each person has a voice in their health care. With an emphasis on holistic health, we aim to provide greater accessibility through our physical location and digitally on our new website that connects people with health care providers, resources and information.”

Anyone who was not able to attend may visit Equityhealthcenter.org to learn more about EHC’s health network, which aims to foster connections within the Greater Coatesville area to affordable health care solutions. The user-friendly website helps residents identify physical and mental health services, regardless of insurance status, learn about free wellness events, transportation, and more. More information is also available by contacting Moira Gassenmeyer via phone at 484-257-9762 or email at mgassenmeyer@alliancehealthequity.org.

Individuals and corporations interested in contributing to Equity Health Center’s sustainability can learn more about financially supporting EHC by calling Jean Marie Caroll at 484-257-9783.

PHOTO CAPTION: L to R: PA State Rep. Dan Williams; Kevin Ressler, President and CEO of The Alliance for Health Equity; Moira Gassenmeyer, Equity Health Center Coordinator; Linda Lavender-Norris, President of Coatesville City Council; Susan Harris, President and CEO of ChesPenn Health Services

Posted by Monica Ferguson

Monica is a senior at West Chester University studying Digital Marketing. She is excited about moving to Chester County and eventually starting her career there after graduation.

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