All Together Now

“We are encouraged by the better angels of our nature and the disposition of our hearts.... to serve them well…”

Helen Keller, whose remarkable life continues to inspire and give hope to millions around the world, understood the unique power of teamwork. “Alone,” she famously said, “we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”

At Hoag, the many caring men and women who steward the Community Benefit Program have long taken the sentiment behind Keller’s moving words to heart. They understand the power of working together, and channel it daily throughout the community to create tangible benefit for Orange County’s underserved families. By supporting and partnering with agencies and nonprofits throughout the county, Hoag has compiled -- one team of compassionate people at a time – a storied history of elevating the resources and strengthening the safety net for residents in need.

This issue of Heart of Hoag explores the next, incredible stage of our journey: the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living. The center, which recently celebrated its grand opening, is bringing like-minded community organizations and nonprofits under one roof.

While we have supported and worked with many community service-oriented organizations and groups for years, never has Hoag – or any other nonprofit that we know of – taken an integrated, holistic approach to community services and care on such a grand scale. With more than 15 agencies addressing everything from health care to legal services, the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living is poised to become a national model of integration, cooperation and effective community service.

In addition, you will read about some of the many vital resources the Center will offer the community, including the new SOS Dr. Robert & Dorothy Beauchamp Children & Family Dental Center.

Elsewhere in this issue, you’ll be introduced to the volunteers who helped bring vision care and free glasses to our underserved population. And among other stories, you’ll discover how a free mammography event continued to help people long after the event was over, by serving as an entry point for patients to access a variety of breast care and other services.

You’ll see how attending one event or using one resource at the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living can lead community members to other services that they need. That’s the synergistic effect that the Center was built to create. Think of it as a buzzing hive where people work shoulder-to-shoulder to provide a wide range of medical, spiritual, physical and mental health activities and services designed to improve the lives of everyone who enters.

A plaque at the Center bears this phrase: “We are encouraged by the better angels of our nature and the disposition of our hearts to think favorably of our fellows, regardless of their circumstances, and to serve them well; improving and sustaining their health and the quality of their lives and thus benefitting all.”

These words summarize not only what we hope to accomplish, but also why we are pursuing this work so determinedly. Together.