MISSION: Andromeda’s mission is to provide access to quality healthcare under the premise that all humans are inherently of equal worth but have cultural and linguistic differences that must be considered. This philosophy reflects a high level of community health care that has been validated by over three decades of direct service to minorities and underserved populations.
VISION: Andromeda will continue to serve the community with excellent healthcare targeting those most in need. Our experience will be duplicated nationally, internationally, and our capital city will support and lend stability to our and other community based health centers as a line item in the city budget.
VALUES: Compassion, Integrity, Tenacity, Excellence, Accessibility, and Accountability.
HISTORY: Dr. Ricardo Galbis is a Cuban born psychiatrist and alumnus of the Salpêtrière, the Sorbonne (Paris), and Georgetown University (Child Psychiatry), where he was encouraged to pursue Community Health. He co-founded the Washington Free Clinic in 1968 as an answer to that decade’s alienated youth. In 1970, Dr. Galbis, recognizing the need for a healthcare facility targeting Washington’s Hispanic community, founded Andromeda emphasizing importance of language, culture, and a personal approach to healthcare.
Andromeda’s first years were an entirely voluntary effort, and its first grant was for a Hotline and Youth Intervention, given by the Agnes and Eugene Meyer Foundation. Andromeda traveled to Nicaragua under the auspices of the NIMH to aid a relief effort after the December 1973 earthquake, dealing with the psychological and physical aspects of a natural disaster.
Andromeda, to its credit, published the first bilingual newspaper in D.C., which lasted for two years. Andromeda’s outreach to the District’s underserved community has never ceased and continues to gain strength.
Currently, Andromeda’s participants are approximately 70% Hispanic, 22% African-American, and 8% other participants. As a non-profit 501-(c) 3 corporation all donations are tax-deductible. Andromeda’s funding is approximately 2 million dollars.
The Programs currently being offered are as follows:
· Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS under grants from HAA providing HIV testing, primary care, case management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, and referral for housing and hospitalization. Free to DC residents
Appointments for primary care can be made with the Physician Assistant on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-5”.
· Education/Training: Medical Assistant Training Program (OLA grant). For DC residents
· City Wide Medical Mobile Outreach Vehicle: “Project Orion”
Services: Primary Care, Case Management, HIV testing, counseling and referral, education and referrals.
· Individual and group therapy for the dually diagnosed.
· Children’s Program, with emphasis on depression and attention deficit disorders
· Latino Women’s Group every Thursday evenings. Free for all women (in Spanish)
· An intensive psychosocial support group every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
· Adult psychiatric treatment with access to hospitalization at Washington Hospital Center and Howard University Hospital.
· The Circulo de Andromeda provides alcohol and drug (non-opiate) prevention, outreach, and treatment under a Human Care agreement with APRA. Free for D.C. residents.