CHHC executive director honored

Chris Monceret, founder and executive director of the Community of Hope Health Clinic, was honored one of Positive Maturity's Top 50 Over 50 on July 31. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Chris Monceret, founder and executive director of the Community of Hope Health Clinic, was honored one of Positive Maturity’s Top 50 Over 50 on July 31. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—On July 31, Chris Monceret, founder and executive director of the Pelham-based Community of Hope Health Clinic, was honored as one of Positive Maturity’s 2014 Top 50 Over 50.

According to the organization’s website, Positive Maturity’s annual list recognizes 50 individuals “for their success and/or lifetime achievements in business, personal life and civic engagement.”

“I was just shocked and honored. I’m in very good company,” Monceret said of the list, which includes University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban and former Birmingham Mayor Dr. Richard, to name a few.

But to Monceret, the most exciting part of the honor is the publicity and awareness it brings to her organization, the Community of Hope Health Clinic.

“From my perspective, if this award will get the word out about our clinic, that’s just wonderful,” Monceret said.

Housed in the Shelby County Health Department, the Community of Hope Health Clinic is a medical mission that provides free, quality health care to the medically uninsured whose household income is “at or below 200% of the poverty level.”

“We do have a pocket of poverty here,” Monceret explained, noting 12-percent of the population of Shelby County is uninsured.

The Community of Hope Health Clinic has grown substantially since opening its doors in Oct. 2008, serving thousands of Shelby County residents, and seeing more than 2,000 appointments in the past year alone, Monceret said.

At first the clinic was only open on Thursday nights after the Health Department closed. “We didn’t have office space,” Monceret said. “When they closed, we opened.”

The clinic now occupies 2,000 square feet of space in the Health Department building, is open Monday and Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings and has a staff of between 40 and 50 volunteers, including 17 medical professionals.

“My hope is that in five years, we have our own facility,” Monceret said. “Right now, we’re in a perfect situation, but as we keep growing, I’d like to see us in something we can call ours.”

The Community of Hope Health Clinic does not just “hand out a prescription,” Monceret said, the volunteer physicians seek to bring personalized care to each patient.

“People are really appreciative and part of that is because they’re treated with such compassion and such respect,” Monceret said. “They come in without hope and they leave with hope. We are literally saving lives.”