By Antonio Caro, Development Officer & Paige Warner, Donor Relations Associate
When Cynthia Avazpour first encountered Mary’s Center 10 years ago, working as a consultant to help federally qualified health centers improve their billing systems, she knew we were different than the rest.
“Mary’s Center stood out to me,” she said. “Early on in my career, I was a young parent who struggled financially. Luckily, I had access to a strong support system, a system I saw mirrored at Mary’s Center.”
From providing the uninsured with access to medical and dental care to connecting families to resources and educational opportunities aimed at building economic independence, Cynthia saw us “take healthcare to a new level.”
In 2010, she became our billing consultant. As the years progressed, her involvement and passion for the mission grew deeper. What started as a consulting position transformed into frequent volunteer hours, participation in annual campaigns, and involvement with in-kind donation drives.
Out of her myriad memories as a supporter – one experience sticks out. A year or two after she began her consulting position, Cynthia met a participant whose child was suffering from spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. Out of the family’s lack of resources, the child was forced to sleep on the floor, causing her severe pain. Cynthia decided to act. She drove to the store and picked up a mattress, sheets, and toys to take to the family. “Mary’s Center is a community, a family,” said Cynthia. “It is far beyond a medical clinic. It goes beyond checking off one item on a patient checklist or clearing a diagnosis – it is all encompassing.”
From individual supporter to corporate partner.
After years of hard work, Cynthia started her own company in 2016: Community Health Partners (CHP). Soon after, CHP became our primary billing company and corporate partner. Frequently sponsoring annual events like the Golf Classic, Taste of Adams Morgan, and Annual Gala, Cynthia and the CHP team were set on investing money they earned back into the community they love.
When asked why she supports, Cynthia responded, “Mary’s Center will always have my heart. Everybody needs to help each other out. At some point in their life, everyone needs support. So, once you have gotten to a point where you have succeeded in life, and I feel like I have gotten there, then you owe something back.”
Standing with us during our most challenging time.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary’s Center incurred significant expenses. To stay at the forefront of care, we expanded our telehealth services, covered COVID-19 tests for the uninsured, and invested in an unprecedented amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Unfortunately, we also experienced a significant loss of revenue. The cancelation of our Golf Classic and Taste of Adams Morgan event paired with the extreme reduction in routine medical and dental visits severely set us back – at a time when our families needed us most.
That’s when Community Health Partners stepped in.
From supporting our COVID-19 response fund to purchasing food for our frontline healthcare heroes, Cynthia and the CHP team have been vital to ensuring that our region’s most under-resourced families continue to have access to medical and social support. “Since Community Health Partners does the billing for Mary’s Center, we were very aware of the financial hit they would take during the pandemic. Dental alone caused a 4,500-visit deficit to the clinic,” said Cynthia. “Mary’s Center is vital to the community and we knew we needed to do our part to help with their continued mission.”
We are grateful for our loyal community of volunteers, donors, and amazing partners like Cynthia Avazpour and her company, Community Health Partners. Thanks to their support, Mary’s Center continues to be able to change lives while providing over $9.5 million of annual free care to individuals throughout the region.