Rosa Health Center to Double its Size with help from DCF Capital Grant
The Rosa Health Center, an eight-year-old clinic in Georgetown, is expanding to serve more clients using a $10,000 capital grant from the Delaware Community Foundation.
The center is hiring surveyors, architects and other professionals to plan an addition to its office on Front Street, which will double its size and make room for educational programming.
The Rosa Health Center is one of 22 organizations awarded $254,823 from the DCF’s 2022-2023 Capital Grants program. The program assists with the acquisition, final-stage design, construction, repair, renovation, rehabilitation, or other capital improvements of facilities, so nonprofits in all three counties can operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Capital Grants support projects that will have a lasting, positive impact on the population or community served by the grantee organization.
The Rosa Health Center is a small, local clinic with one physician, Dr. Rama Peri, who founded it in 2015. She named the center after Sister Rosa Álvarez, a Carmelite nun from Washington, D.C. Sister Rosa traveled to southern Delaware in the 1990s to help immigrants moving to the area find affordable housing, provide prenatal care and advocate for domestic abuse victims. During her time in Delaware, Sister Rosa met Dr. Peri and the two formed a friendship.
“When we first opened our doors of the center, we had about 15 patients,” Dr. Peri said. “We want our patients to feel like they’re in an old-time family doctor setting. When patients come for visits, we want them to feel like they’re waiting in a living room rather than a reception area.”
Susan Chunn, the health center’s clinical coordinator, estimates 1,900 patients are seen annually. The health center has two exam rooms, an office and a waiting room inside 2,000 square-feet of a former ranch-style home.
The expansion will double the center’s size, adding six exam rooms and an office for a new physician. Also, the center plans to transform the waiting area into a dual-purpose setting where patients can learn about medical topics such as diabetes, cholesterol and prenatal care in the evenings.
“The expansion project is going to have tremendous impacts,” Dr. Peri said. “The first impact is simply more space means being able to see more patients. Then, having a classroom-setting allows us to teach our patients about the benefits of vaccines and other important medical topics.”
Fundraising for the addition has begun and will continue throughout the project. Construction is slated to begin early in 2024, with completion anticipated in the fall of 2025. The center expects to stay open during construction.