Dolores Lindsay: Keeping the “Care” in The HealthCare Connection

By Betsy Ross, Contributing Writer
Photos and video by Madison Schmidt

It all started simply enough. Dolores Lindsay was recruited by her daughter’s kindergarten school PTA to serve on a committee to assess the needs of local residents. That committee sparked a passion that eventually turned into The HealthCare Connection of which Dolores is founder, president and one of the longest-serving CEOs in the country. 

Because one thing that she found out on that committee was that access to quality health care for the underserved was at the top of the list of residents’ needs. At that time, Lincoln Heights was the largest self-governed African-American city in the nation but with no physicians or dentists. To try to fill that need, Dolores started the Lincoln Heights Health Center in 1967 in a four-room apartment with volunteer nurses, doctors and staff. 

From that modest beginning, the Center has grown to 10 neighborhoods, including primary care and behavioral health co-locations and two school-based health centers in Princeton City Schools. In 2016 alone the offices served more than 18,000 patients in more than 45,000 visits. 

Her leadership in the health care field has earned Dolores the title “dean of community health centers in Ohio.” She manages nearly 100 staffers at the 10 THCC neighborhood sites, while raising funds to keep the doors open. 

“Our success is the result of many people who recognized the lack of access to health care in Lincoln Heights and came together to make The HealthCare Connection what it is today, including our honorees,” said Dolores. “They stepped up in our formative years to build a solid foundation.”

To celebrate Dolores and her work, The HealthCare Connection is holding its 50th anniversary gala on Saturday, October 14 at the Sharonville Convention Center. The theme, “It Takes a Village,” represents the efforts of many toward one cause. 

Tickets are available for $150/person, or Host/Hostess tickets for $250/person (includes Legends reception, VIP seating and name recognition). To purchase tickets, visit www.healthcare-connection.org/50th-anniversary-gala/ or call (513) 483-3081.

Of the many contributors to THCC’s success, five are being honored at the gala for their commitment in helping launch and sustain the health center in its early years. They include:  Rev. Canon James W. Francis Sr.; Marilyn H. Gaston, M.D.; Rep. Willis (Bill) D. Gradison Jr.; Marva Graham Moore; and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr.

“Our gala celebration is befitting of 50 years of progress and success,” says J. Phillip Holloman, Chairman, 50th Anniversary Planning Committee. “What started in a four-room apartment has become a 42,000 square-foot facility with 10 neighborhood sites helping more than 18,000 patients annually,” he added. 

About The HealthCare Connection
Despite the challenging financial reality faced by Community Health Centers, The HealthCare Connection has operated without interruption and has been the only safety net provider of primary care services in northern Hamilton County for 50 years. It was founded in 1967 as the very first community health center in the state of Ohio to provide quality health care for the underserved of Cincinnati. Neighborhood sites are located in Lincoln Heights, Mt. Healthy and Forest Park, as well as five co-located behavioral health centers and two school-based health centers. 

Alex ReillyPROFILES