Bolstering efforts to address health disparities in East Oakland, Allen Temple Baptist Church is opening of a new health clinic to support the community, which is heavily impacted by crime and poverty.
The opening of the Robert C. Scott Wellness Center, named in honor of the late physician, was announced by Allen Temple’s Health Education Ministry at a media conference during the church’s 35th Annual free Health Fair, which took place last weekend on the church’s campus.
Partnering with Allen Temple are La Clinica Del la Raza, Lifelong Medical Care and West Oakland Health Center, which are pooling resources to form the clinic.
Allen Temple is located at 8501 International Blvd.
According to Gloria Cox-Crowell, director of development and a member of the clinic’s planning committee, the clinic is a dream that is coming true after more than two and a half years.
“It is good to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
“The clinic is a blessing to the area and will deliver culturally competent services,” said, Brenda Shipp, chief operational Officer of Lifelong. “It will be addressing the needs of the whole person – the mind, body and spirit,” she said.
Shipp also sees improved access to medical care as a way to cut down on hospitalization. “We can teach youth at an early age about preventive care, reaching them before they become diabetic or have heart disease,” said Shipp.
Dr. Robert Scott. whjo died in 2009, co-founded the AIDS Project of Eastbay in 1983 and co-founded Allen Temple’s AIDS Ministries in 1994. He was the first African American doctor licensed to practice in Zimbabwe, using his own funds to take his team to Africa to care for the sick.
According to information provided by a 2009 California Health Interview produced by Alameda County, one in five adults in East Oakland are not insured, and more than one in three have not visited a doctor in the last year.
According to the survey, the rate of visits to an emergency room is double the countywide rate, an indicator of poor access to regular healthcare.
Dr. Alvin McLean, who will be a counselor with the medical team, says the clinic will create opportunities for medical students and interns to gain knowledge and experience working with diverse populations.
The clinic’s opening was connected to daylong family health fair that provided resources to thousands of individuals, families and caregivers.
Crowell reported that during a routine exam that day, a patient was diagnosed with late stage of prostate cancer and taken directly to a local hospital for treatment.
“It is these kinds of scenarios that demonstrate the need for community health,” she said.