RUHSA is CMC’s most comprehensive community-based site, located in the KV Kuppam Block of the Vellore District, about 25 km from downtown Vellore and the CMC Main Hospital. RUHSA (pioneered by former Foundation Board member, Daleep Mukarji, a CMC alumnus) runs a 70-bed secondary-care hospital and a large outpatient program, along with 24 peripheral centers in surrounding villages. Besides serving the primary healthcare needs of the 130,000 residents of the Block, RUHSA works to build the foundation for a healthy life, responding quickly and holistically to emerging social needs and unexpected crises.
RUHSA programs are designed to work together to advance the health, education, and socio-economic status of the entire Block. From its inception (1977) RUHSA has brought together teams of professionals in a range of specialties for the multifaceted development of individuals, families and communities. In entrepreneurial spirit, small RUHSA schemes, partnerships and collaborations have provided access to healthcare, social service support, job training, youth development, parenting services, small business loans, childcare and almost any other conceivable enterprise that might contribute to more stable lives for residents.
The twenty-four peripheral sites dot the RUHSA catchment area and resemble Dr. Ida’s roadside clinics. Medically-equipped vans or buses deliver routine care for people with chronic illness such as diabetes, prenatal and postnatal care, infectious disease diagnosis and treatment, pediatric and older adult screenings and check-ups. Trained and paid local residents, known as Community Health Workers and “Family Care Specialists,” work in each small village, making sure that all are aware of the next doctor or nurse visit, and that sick people attend the next clinic for care. They form a true safety net for village residents — the “eyes and ears” of RUHSA staff between visits.
RUHSA is also engaged in numerous population-based research projects and trains various levels of health care professionals to support the Indian health care system. One of RUHSA’s most visible research projects is led by Dr. Isaac, Foundation Board member and Weil Cornell Medical School faculty member, Dr. Madelon Finkel, and three Australian colleagues.
After 36 years of service, the needs of the community have outgrown RUHSA’s clinical, educational and administrative space. This year RUHSA will begin a major expansion to enlarge its Outpatient Department, add its first Emergency Department, and create new space for programs that will benefit the block. To donate to RUHSA’s expansion, click here.