The Harambee Nursing Center

The Harambee Nursing Center

Community-based, Nurse-led Health Care


Background & Goal

Health disparities, low health literacy, and poor access to health care as well as relevant health education decrease the overall well being of residents. Disparities are worsened by severe economic resources, language and cultural barriers experienced by the community.

The Harambee Nursing Center aims to improve residents’ health and well-being through affordable, trusted, wellness education, prevention, and primary care health care given by nurses and other health providers who are actively engaged and committed to residents, where they live. 

Center Description

The Harambee Nursing Center is a nurse-led, non-profit organization located in the Smoketown area of Louisville, KY. Because of recent challenges to the financial sustainability, the National Nursing Center Consortium (NNCC) serves as the fiduciary agent. The Presbyterian Community Center, University of Louisville Hospital, and Louisville Metro Housing Authority are strong partners. Four Schools of Nursing place students for community health experiences. Nurses staff a weekly health clinic where residents can walk-in for health care for acute and chronic health problems, wellness education, weight management and/or assistance in obtaining access to needed healthcare. Current health promotion initiatives include health literacy education; teaching the community how to prevent injuries, give First Aid and perform timely CPR; education about breast cancer detection and treatment to the Somali Bantu residents; sports physicals, flu vaccine and health lifestyle behaviors.

Evidence of Success

  • Strong support by community residents and partners led to rebuilding Harambee, after the primary care clinic closed in June 2010.
  • Health care access provided to 62 residents in a weekly clinic (528 contact hours and 186 unduplicated visits). 90% were uninsured.
  • Funding secured from the Good Samaritan Foundation, a founding donor. 
  • Flu vaccine was given to 50 residents, onsite mammogram to 30, sports exam to 35 youth 
  • 443 educational encounters related to healthy behavior provided to community residents
  • 26 community service providers certified in CPR; 16 received non-certified CPR
  • 125 community residents targeted to be trained in CPR Family and Friend or CPR
  • 52 nursing students from 4 school of nursing, received clinical supervision by Harambee 
  • Unnecessary use of emergency services prevented on at least 62 residents.
  • Cost of primary care is reduced by half or more on each client.

For More Information Contact:

Kay T. Roberts, EdD, MSN, ARNP, FAAN

Professor Emerita, University of Louisville 
School of Nursing 
Executive Director, Harambee Nursing Center 
701 South Hancock Street
Louisville, KY 40203