Alabama Power Foundation grants $10,000 to expand local Hispanic dental and vision care
PRNewswire - FirstCall



BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Nov. 6, 2006 - A $10,000 grant from the Alabama Power Foundation will help expand dental and vision care to Hispanics in Shelby and Jefferson counties.

The contribution will be used to buy equipment and supplies, said Edwina Taylor, founder and executive director of Cahaba Valley Health Care.

“Our screenings and exams are free,” Taylor said of the nonprofit organization. “Without groups like the Alabama Power Foundation, we would be unable to give them access to health care. They would just go unserved.”

Cahaba Valley Health Care has provided more than 70 dental and vision screening clinics in 23 churches since its founding in 2001, serving 2,400 Hispanics. According to Taylor, most Hispanics living in Alabama have no health insurance.

“We are delighted to help fill the gap and assist in meeting these very vital needs,” said Bill Johnson, president of the Alabama Power Foundation.

A veteran registered nurse and nurse practitioner at UAB and Cooper Green hospitals, Taylor already had a Latin connection with an adopted daughter from Guatemala when she became concerned with the status of medical care for Hispanics.

While working at Cooper Green several years ago, Taylor realized “how hard it is to get health care if you’re not insured, even if you’re born here.”

As she mulled how to help the surging Hispanic population, she woke suddenly one night with the Cahaba Valley Health Care name and an idea that has grown to fruition.

“I thought, ‘If we’re going to provide health care for Hispanics, we need to go where people are rather than have them having to go somewhere,’ “ Taylor said.

Five years later, the organization has two full-time and two part-time employees, with assistance from more than 1,000 volunteers, most of whom speak Spanish. Screenings and exams are advertised in communities and conducted in churches, stressing preventative approaches, while follow-up referrals to volunteer dentists and eye physicians provide treatment.

“We discovered one guy who was blind in one eye and in the other he had 20/200 vision, and he was driving every day to Auburn to do sheetrock work,” Taylor recalled. “We were able, through a local doctor who volunteers his services, to get him laser surgery. The last time I checked, he was 20/20 in that one eye. That makes things a lot safer for him and for other people on the road.”

More information about Cahaba Valley Health Care can be found at

The Alabama Power Foundation works to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and strengthen the communities in which they live. Since 1990, the foundation has granted more than $90 million to worthy projects across Alabama. Details about the foundation are available at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state. The company is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2006. Learn more about Alabama Power at