Pastor Shonda Obi remembers the day Tampa Family Health Centers (TFHC) made a lasting impact on her life and, she believes, saved her husband.

August 27, 2015. Pastor Shonda, a patient for more than three years, attended a regular checkup with her physician, Monica Rider, M.D., at the location on Causeway. After she received a good health report, Pastor Shonda asked Dr. Rider to examine her husband, patient Celestine Obi, who wasn’t feeling well that day. Dr. Rider completed a few routine tests and revealed shocking news.

“His sugar was very high and Dr. Rider recommended that he go to the emergency room right away,” she said. “My husband was diabetic and didn’t know it. Had we not gone to Dr. Rider that day and followed her advice, he would have been dead a in a few days.”

Pastor Shonda hails Dr. Rider as more than a friend, closer to a mentor.

“She doesn’t make you feel you can’t tell her your innermost feelings,” said Pastor Obi. “She listens and she tells you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. She talks to you like a sister. Dr. Rider really cares for her patients.”

Pastor Shonda says that attitude is threaded throughout TFHC in how it serves not only patients who come into the centers, but also those who receive services in the community.

“I see those buses all over town,” Pastor Shonda said of TFHC’s mobile units that provide free dental and health screenings. “People are receiving blood pressure checks and important information. The services are affordable and they will take you even if you don’t have insurance – and a financial counselor can help you if you don’t,” she said.

Pastor Shonda admits that if it hadn’t been for hard times, she might not have discovered  TFHC. She needed a healthcare facility that had compassion for those who were uninsured or under insured, and TFHC was a great match for her family. Adversity didn’t stop her from receiving great healthcare.

“The economy hit everybody hard in 2007; anybody is subject to lose their job,” she said. “But just because you’re in a bad situation doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I thank God for Tampa Family Health Centers – it has been  a great help to me.”