Huntsville nonprofits push for health care access

Huntsville, Ala. (WAFF) – Two local nonprofits are working to meet the medical needs of the underprivileged in the Rocket City.

Members of Thrive Alabama and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Huntsville told city council members how they plan to achieve those goals at the city council meeting.

UCP CEO Cheryl Smith said the company is asking the city for $25,000 to hire a full-time Spanish-speaking coordinator to connect health services to Hispanic communities.

“Many different cultures have their own barriers and difficulties in accessing services,” Smith said, “and because of that, they are often reluctant to seek outside services.”

A new outreach coordinator can go to different Spanish-speaking businesses, schools, or churches to help bridge the gap between languages ​​and cultures.

Thrive Alabama CEO Mary Marr said the company raised $3 million for the 72,000-square-foot facility. health center north of Huntsville, but wants to claim the $2.1 million the city received from a recent opioid settlement.

Marr said the company recently purchased 13 acres of land at Oakwood Avenue and Washington Street for development to let people know it’s serious about improving the community.

“I believe that health care is a right, it’s not a benefit in this country,” Marr said, “We’re the richest country in the world, but we have people who don’t have health care. They have health care.”

Voting for the UCP coordinator will take place in September and, if approved, will begin on October 1.

Once the company secures the necessary funding, the new medical facility should be completed within 14 to 18 months, Marr said.

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