Increasing access to health care and reducing health disparities was one of the top priorities identified in the Long Branch and Takoma Park Community Strategic Plan in 2012. At that time, information from Healthy Montgomery documented many health disparities by race and ethnicity; it was observed that many community members had to wait in long lines or struggled to find adequate services. Recent Healthy Montgomery data shows that the Takoma Park zip code 20912 has among the highest hospital utilization rates for uncontrolled diabetes and alcohol abuse, and very high rates of pediatric asthma in a Long Branch zip code (20903). Research conducted by CHEER in 2014 showed that 50% of the people seeking medical care through the County’s safety net clinics were unable to get an appointment.
It is impossible for Takoma Park and Long Branch to be healthy thriving communities when large numbers of community members have difficulty accessing health care and are suffering from hard to manage chronic disease. CHEER has entered into a close partnership with the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County to improve population health, reduce health care costs, and ensure access to quality healthcare, and has received generous support from the Healthcare Initiative Foundation to implement programs that fulfill community goals for health.
In 2021, CHEER enrolled 341 households (831 individuals) in Medicaid or Qualified Health Plans. In addition, 150 community members were enrolled in free private health insurance through Kaiser Permanente's Community Health Access Plan (CHAP). CHEER also served 112 community members as part of the Long Branch Healthy Food Access Program. A total of 1,148 bags of healthy food were given to participants.
Maps of Services
Clinics & Hospitals
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a normal blood pressure?
A: Ideally, we should all have a blood pressure below 120 over 80 (120/80). This is the ideal blood pressure for people wishing to have good health. At this level, we have a much lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
Q: What is the relationship of the BMI (Body Mass Index) and blood pressure?
A: Keeping your weight under control, from childhood through middle age, can offset high blood pressure in later years; in summary high BMI throughout life had "a strong effect" on high blood pressure between ages 36 to 53 therefore Weight Control Is Key.
Q: When does open enrollment start?
A: Open Enrollment for 2022 health plans starts November 1, 2021. Important dates to note:
November 1, 2021 Open Enrollment starts — first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2022 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Last day to enroll in or change plans for coverage to start Februrary 28, 2022.
Q: Where can we go when having concerns/complaints/questions about housing?
A: Find out what to do if you have one of these complaints when buying or renting a home at https://www.usa.gov/housing-complaints
You also can call 311.
Q: How to apply for HOC?
A: The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) was established in 1974 to better respond to the County’s need for affordable housing. For more information you can visit: http://www.hocmc.org/about-hoc/faq-s.html
If you have any other questions about this program, please contact Kelly Umaña, Director of Health Programs, at Kelly@communitycheer.org. (Kelly is bilingual in both English and Spanish.)