School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
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SOMA

Community HEalth Centers (CHC)

El-Rio Community Health Center Tucson, Arizona

El Rio Community Health Center is a primary source of accessible and affordable healthcare in Tucson, Pima County, and Southern Arizona. El Rio is an essential part of the growing community, taking care of the low-income population in this part of Arizona. El Rio’s seventy thousand patients have access to primary care, obstetrical, medical, pediatric, adult, vision, laboratory, HIV, dental, homeless, pharmaceutical, and other services through El Rio’s sixteen community locations. This high-quality, affordable, community health center is well known for improving the health of populations, and exceeding industry standards in preventive and chronic patient care.

In partnering with El Rio, A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) students learn about healthcare principles and clinical procedures and then apply them to improve the wellbeing of the surrounding community. They experience an understanding of the specific healthcare needs of Tucson. Learning in an environment like El Rio allows ATSU students to build a foundation within the community. ATSU students are grounded in the community and connected with the Community Health Center, thus promoting their competence in working with El Rio’s population groups.

El Rio Community Health Center is a very integral part of the community in Tucson. “Community health centers are governed by community leaders and patients. The patients are excited to have a place that’s their own,” says Gary Cloud, Ph.D., associate dean, SOMA. “Healthcare centers are emerging as the pre-eminent healthcare providers across the country. As they are constantly adapting to meet the needs of the community they are ideally suited to improve community health.”