Dr. Ron Cookston with Gateway to Care approached the Pasadena community about the need that existed for indigent and under served patients who were not receiving the quality treatment that they needed. It became clear that a separate non-profit health care organization was needed to focus primarily on patient care and to integrate community-based services into a continuum of care to reduce health disparities and improve the quality of life of residents in the Pasadena community. Gateway to Care, the City of Pasadena and Bayshore Medical Center worked together to build community awareness of the health disparities in the Pasadena community. A FQHC work group was created in the fall of 2002 to focus health care delivery in a community-based setting. The community based work group was comprised of service organizations, business owners and other healthcare providers in the area, such as Bayshore Medical Center, Harris County Hospital District, Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, and various private practice physicians. In the spring of 2002 the community, including physicians, potential clients, and other community leaders collectively identified potential members of the FQHC board of directors. At that time, new efforts were committed to developing PHC.
A board of directors and an advisory Board was formed in August of 2003 to concentrate on ways to build access to primary healthcare through the formation of an FQHC. The board of directors included members of the community representing an array of industries. The board agreed to pursue submission of the application for an FQHC to be funded for the Pasadena community.
In September of 2005 Pasadena Health Center Inc. received FQHC designation under an Emergency Act by Congress due to hurricane Katrina and the resources needed to treat the large number of people who had been displaced. The center’s original designation as an FQHC was to have occurred on December 1st of 2005.
Pasadena Health Center continues to be involved in the area today. The center is constantly striving to be a resource in the community and provides low cost services to families and residents living in Southeast Harris County and surrounding communities. They have received recognition in the past from Harris County Commissioners Court and many other organizations. They have been active in supporting the school district and in the Pasadena community. They offer family medicine services, vaccines for children, dental services, counseling including Marriage and Family, Chemical dependency, and general counseling services, in addition they have OB/GYN, Ultrasound, Radiology, Lab and a Pharmacy on site that offers low cost prescription medications to clients of the health center.