NACHC’s advocacy team is excited to announce the Outstanding Advocates for February 2016, Tyler Clark and Layza Lopez-Love from Community Clinic in Sprindgale, Arkansas. Community Clinic is a NACHC Hispanic Advocacy Project (HAP) site, and Layza and Tyler head up advocacy efforts for that program. Their work to engage the community and bring patients and community members into the Health Center fold is a great example of how advocacy is not one-size-fits-all, and shows how Health Centers can be creative and innovative in this space.
Tyler B. Clark is the Community Development Director at Community Clinic in Springdale, and has worked as a senior leader in the non-profit sector for over a decade. He has experience with program development, government relations, strategic planning, grant writing, fundraising, grant management and media/public relations. Prior to his position at Community Clinic, Tyler worked at the Jones Center for Families and Credit Counseling of Arkansas. He is also an enthusiastic volunteer and board member for several local organizations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Children's Safety Center, Komen Ozark, Springdale Chamber of Commerce and Open Avenues. Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @TClarkNPO
Layza Lopez-Love is the Outreach Team Lead at Community Clinic in Springdale. Prior to her position at Community Clinic, Layza worked for Youth Policy Institute in Los Angeles where she managed an after school program in the inner city. These two positions have allowed her to interact directly with Latino/a communities, which is something that she is greatly passionate about. Layza graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a double major in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies.
With their collective experience, working to make Community Clinic a HAP site was a natural fit for Tyler and Layza and Community Clinic. NACHC’s Hispanic Advocacy Project is specifically designed for Hispanic individuals and families, who make up approximately 35% of the total Health Center patient population. The goal of the HAP is to engage and organize Hispanic communities around Health Centers to participate in advocacy and civic engagement.
The activities that Tyler and Layza have undertaken as part the HAP are aimed at two Health Center constituencies: staff and patients. For staff, they organized a pledge drive, which encouraged Community Clinic’s employees to sign up for the first time or recommit themselves as advocates with NACHC. In addition to action alerts and other advocacy emails, they also receive communications in Spanish, like the weekly newsletter “El Defensor Semanal.”
For patients, the goal was not just to engage them in advocacy, but in the Health Center more broadly. They translated the main Community Clinic Facebook page into Spanish, and organized a patient pledge drive, similar to that which they did for staff. In addition to signing folks up to be advocates and receive communications in Spanish, they also provided an opportunity for people to anonymously share their story about why and how Community Clinic is so important to them/in their lives. Story collection is a great way to showcase the value of Health Centers, both to the community and Members of Congress. Perhaps the most innovative program they’ve established is in partnership with their local school district’s Family Literacy Program, where they introduce advocacy to area parents.
CEO Kathy Grisham says of Tyler and Layza’s work: “Community Clinic’s outreach team has done an excellent job of engaging the community that serves our Hispanic members. Community Clinic has always worked to help our partners in the community understand the importance of engaging the Hispanic community by using brochures in their language and addressing programs in their language. Tyler and Layza went a step further when they worked with the management level of the schools where we operate school based health centers to engage the Principals and teachers to understand the issues impacting our Health Center and their school based health center to provide a patient voice for these needs.”
The activities Tyler and Layza have undertaken through their participation in the HAP have allowed them to make Community Clinic just that—part of the community—by showing how Health Centers provide so much more than just primary medical care and how partnerships with other local organizations can be mutually beneficial! Thank you Tyler and Layza for all your hard work! We look forward to seeing more great things from Community Clinic in the future.
Interested in learning more about the HAP and how your Health Center can become a designated site? Email Alex Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you know an Outstanding Advocate who deserves this recognition? Let us know! Email Elizabeth Kwasnik at email@example.com.