(Photo Credit: Heartland Service)
The North Omaha Area Health Clinic and its founder Ira Combs are in the community and for the community. NOAH has launched innovative initiatives that reach and directly serve the North Omaha community. Combs excels in education, outreach and providing outstanding health services to the community.
“My goal is to make North Omaha the healthiest place in the state of Nebraska,” said Combs.
Ira has consistently focused on making sure the community most in need receives the quality health services they deserve at a price they can afford. The NOAH team consistently goes above and beyond to meet community members where they are in a respectful way that honors them.
Combs and his team also make youth and young adults a major focus for the organization. For years, Ira has created attention getting outreach and educational campaigns, culturally relevant superheroes and cartoon characters to reach youth in the community.
Ira has been recognized locally and nationally for his work in the community. In 2013, Ira was presented with the prestigious “Champion of Change” award by President Barack Obama’s White House.
The vision of the North Omaha Area Health Clinic is to be a beacon of light in our community, by ministering to the hearts, body, and minds of families and individuals in North Omaha.
The mission is provide care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Our primary value is “the needs of the patient come first.”
It is incredibly important to have NOAH in our community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to learn more, please connect to NOAH here or call 402-933-0737.
Connect with NOAH on Facebook here.
LOCATION: 5620 Ames Ave, Omaha NE, 68104
Hours of Operation:
Monday: 12pm to 5pm
Tuesday: 12pm to 6pm
Thursday: 12pm to 6pm
Friday: 12pm to 5pm
Saturday: 12pm to 4pm
Get connected to vitally important resources through the Empowerment Network’s Healthy Village Collaborative. You can find links to food, housing support, health care, jobs, job training and more here.
Ted Lampkin: Rising to Meet the Challenge
Charles Drew Health Center
Growing up down the street from Charles Drew Health Center, Inc., it was no question for Ted Lampkin to give back to the community that helped raise him.
“I’m passionate about public health because I am a product of public health services. Coming up, my family and I used the services at Charles Drew.”
As the Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services, Ted has been on the front-line teaching and training team members in new approaches to behavioral health. It’s no surprise that when COVID-19 struck, Ted was front and center.
“My role was to help transition the Behavioral Health department from doing face-to-face therapy to telehealth therapy.”
While COVID-19 began to escalate, increasing evidence highlighted racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“We made it easy for the patients, providing traditional face-to-face, telehealth, and when needed telephonic sessions. A lot of patients had anxiety about COVID-19 and being in the middle of a pandemic, in addition to their other stressers.”
“The benefit of telehealth is we can continue to provide quality service during a pandemic. You take out the barriers to care with telehealth.”
Brenda Avant: Providing Quality Healthcare in the Midst of COVID-19
Charles Drew Health Center
As a North Omaha native, Family Nurse Practitioner, Brenda Avant, understands educating her patients about their healthcare choices is a foundational principle to accessing safe and quality healthcare.
When the pandemic shut down Omaha metro schools, Brenda and the team members at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. School-based Health Centers had to switch gears. While still providing in-person care, the SBHC Medical providers began utilizing telehealth to remain in contact with their patients.
“The telehealth program at Charles Drew really grew at that time. As Medical providers, we were able to continue serving our student patients through telehealth. The parents really enjoyed it because they felt even through a pandemic their child’s provider is still in tune with their needs.”
As the pandemic surged, the healthcare inequalities within the American health system began to come to the foreground. “It made me proud to see that Charles Drew was a front runner in COVID-19. The community was looking to us to help guide them through.”
“Charles Drew made it very easy for the population we serve to continue receiving care. We may be small, but we are mighty.”
Larry Duncan: Resiliency in the Face of a Crisis
Charles Drew Health Center
Hailing from the south side of Chicago, Larry Duncan, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. has always had a passion for helping others. “My passion, at first, started off with a drug and alcohol emphasis based on my own experiences and knowledge. As I grew and received more education, mental health became the next umbrella. It rests with my understanding that there are unique issues that affect black and brown people, and people who are marginalized.”
Within the first year serving at Charles Drew, Larry faced his biggest challenge yet, leading a team while in the mists of coronavirus. “The number one thing we did quickly was become active.” As COVID-19 began to highlight the care gaps within marginalized communities, the Behavioral Health team at Charles Drew looked to bridge those gaps within the community.
“For our population it was a dual threat. On one side of the coin, the crisis becomes an additional stress to a population of people who already live with stress. On the flip side of the coin, the lack of community and social interaction increased depression, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness.”
The message was simple, but practical: Practice the Five Cs–Connection, Commitment, Communion, Contain, and Continue.
Looking back, one of the greatest strengths of Charles Drew, in Larry’s eyes, was the ability to remain active. While most were waiting, frozen in their activity, Charles Drew advanced forward.
“We got better and better at it. We were doing testing on the front line when testing was just starting. As masks began to be required, we were handing them out to the community members in need. Whatever needed to be done in the face of this virus, we did it.”