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"An Evening of Jazz" Aims to Shed Light on Services at the Syracuse Community Health Center

Upwards of 35,000 people in the area are getting medical care from the Syracuse Community Health Center. The organization is celebrating its role and its future at an event this weekend.

How can the work of doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, therapists other health providers be helped out by music?

The Syracuse Community Health Center is bringing back "An Evening of Jazz" to help out, and to get more information out about the range of services, which include medical and mental health, dental and eye care.  CEO Leola Rodgers says one challenge is that many of her clients have more than one health problem at a time.

“Most of them are with double diagnosis, they’re hypertensive, they’re diabetic, the have COPD, they have asthma,” Rodgers said. “Even their children have multiple diagnoses. That’s a sad state of affairs when you look at the community as a whole. That’s what adds into the poverty piece because of the cost of other aspect of care.”

Rogers notes partnerships with other agencies help with the variety of issues that impact health and well-being.  The center has expanded to having multiple locations, including eight that are school-based.  Rodgers finds the health – and mental health – services are making a difference for children suffering trauma from numerous challenges.

The trauma of being at home and maybe being in a single parent household. Knowing that they may have parents that are incarcerated; knowing that they may only have one parent because the other one is maybe on drugs,” Rodgers Said. “And just trying to get to school when they’re shootings all those kind of things. If you think about that’s a lot of trauma on anyone. Let alone a child.”

She adds her clients range from those on Medicaid or other government programs, to people with commercial insurance, to those with no coverage.  They also remain open evenings and weekends to help people with access problems

“Because if they got to come from work and they end up having to take off a whole day, they look and balance that," Rodgers said. “I need to keep my job and so I can’t go to that place to get medical care and services. And what we have done is extended those hours so that they can come and still not have to worry about losing their jobs.”

Rodgers says the Affordable Care Act has increased their patient load…many more are on Medicaid, and have better coverage.  They’re also seeing people seeking care because of high deductibles or co-pays.  It is also still the Center’s mission to cover those with no health care.

Rogers describes their urgent care services and walk in clinics are available for the public.

The “Evening of Jazz” fundraiser Saturday Night will help support capital equipment and renovations.  Information and tickets for the formal event is at Evening of Jazz.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.