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  • Alternative Healthcare Access Campaign Alternative Healthcare Access Campaign

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Mission Statement

Alternative Healthcare Access Campaign (AHAC)'s mission is to increase the accessibility of quality alternative healthcare for homeless and low-income people. Goals: 1. To Develop and fund programs that deliver alternative healthcare to homeless and low-income people. 2. To provide information and support to practitioners, activists, members of the homeless and low-income communities, and others who share our mission of increasing access to alternative healthcare. 3. To compile and track research on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of alternative healthcare, especially as it is used by homeless and low-income people. 4. To advocate for governmental and institutional policies that broaden access to alternative healthcare. Philosophy: We believe that access to quality healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege that may be limited or denied because of economic status. We believe that "alternative" medicine (either alone or in combination with conventional treatment) is often the optimal healthcare choice, and that some people will find relief from serious illnesses only through alternative therapies. We support the right of homeless and low-income people to choose the type of healthcare they utilize and to participate in the creation of programs and policies that affect their access to services.

Description

About AHAC: AHAC was initially formed in August 1999 by a small group of students and homeless advocates, who were concerned that the benefits of alternative healthcare were becoming exclusively available to the wealthier segments of society. Previously, the Sound Clinic provided full service alternative and conventional healthcare to the downtown Seattle community until its closure in 1997, which created a void in accessible alternative healthcare for low-income and homeless people. Studies show that people in stressful circumstances (such as homelessness and unemployment) are most likely to suffer from ill health. As alternative healthcare's focus is on disease prevention and restoring the body's natural balance, it is a strong tool for health maintenance in this population. One of AHAC's primary foci is establishing onsite clinical services at social service centers for low-income and homeless people to help address this need. AHAC projects: Our first projects began as regular volunteer services at the Women's health and Hygiene Center (a project of the Archdiocesean Housing Authority) and Mary's Place (a day shelter for women through the Church of Mary Magdalene) that commenced in the summer of 2000. We have since expanded our services to 4 sites in and outside the Seattle area. The services we are currently offering are massage therapy, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, and naturopathic and chiropractic medicine. We are perpetually in the process of establishing more on-site healthcare services at other day programs and shelters. Additionally we plan to compile and track research on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of alternative healthcare, especially as it is used by homeless and low-income people and to work towards establishing partnerships with local public health agencies. AHAC advocates for the creation and implementation of governmental and institutional policies that broaden everyone's access to alternative healthcare. AHAC is proud to be a part of Church Council of Greater Seattle's Homelessness Project, a nonprofit agency. All donations to AHAC are 100% tax deductible. Statistics -The number of homeless people in Seattle is estimated at 5500 -The number of shelter beds in numbered at 2500 -18.7% of the state have incomes below the poverty line. -44.3 million or 16.3% of Americans live without health insurance -Over 1 million Americans seek out alternative healthcare each year

Website

http://www.ahacseattle.org

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