In Échirolles, a health center that has become a social refuge



Comfortably installed under the entrance porch, Abdessatar, 53, cheerfully greets everyone who passes in front of him. This Thursday afternoon, no medical appointment is scheduled in his schedule, but he went down ” for pleasure ” at Village 2 Santé, in the heart of this eponymous district of Échirolles, in the south of Grenoble. “It’s at the foot of my building, everyone is nice, at I‘elisten, preyou at give a hand ! », he summarizes, a coffee in one hand, a cigarette in the other. For this inhabitant and his family, settled since 1989, there is no longer any question of being nostalgic for the “friendlinesse “ of the early years. “We just need to come here to find her. »

Six years ago, a group of young doctors took up residence in this suburb which multiplies the factors of precariousness, to carry out an ambitious experiment there: a community and self-managed health center. “The modethe perp classicekill themeequalityes social and discriminatory practices, so we imaginede an alternative, inspiredee by the health hute who was doingeIat his proofs at Toulouse”, says Benjamin Cohadon, co-founder and current coordinator of the space.

Built with the help of the inhabitants – a diagnosis was carried out between 2014 and 2016 – the place brings together general practitioners, physiotherapists, a speech therapist, a nurse and several social guides around a bet: comprehensive care and quality for all.

“When it comes to health, everything is linked”

“Me, I saw almost everyone! », explains Abdessatar, who has been going through depressive episodes for fifteen years, resulting in work disability. Like him, a large part of the patients here are subject to polypathologies or chronic diseases: “The devileyou, high blood pressure, heart problems…”, lists Manon, a young general practitioner who joined Village 2 Santé at the start of the year, wishing to change her relationship with “the act”. The solution ? Longer consultations, a more developed sensitivity, and above all, the desire to look further. “We often limit ourselves at a Reanswer purelyedical, whereas in rereadeit is necessary toetighten at food, housing, at the financial situationere or working conditions… When it comes to healtheeverything is connectede. »

The professionals, who share their daily life in this space of approximately 300 square meters, thus communicate constantly, in particular around the most complex cases, to which they devote two hours each Thursday. Today, discussions revolve around the delicate question of the limits to be set for support, ” and vsdid good to talk about it”says Manon.

Because beyond making appointments, the center sets up thematic workshops, around women’s health for example, or times reserved for administrative assistance. “The barriere language, fear of rejection, problemsemy healthe mental, can easily enterîner a non-appeal which menot at real life situationsebraid”, entrusts Clémence to the entrance, which guarantees a “unconditional welcome”despite the increasing number of requests.

Residents involved in their care pathway

Once the threshold is crossed, everything encourages autonomy: a kitchen where you can freely use tea or coffee, a play area to keep the children waiting, a computer left at your disposal… “If the inhabitants feel at comfortable, they will more easily become actors of their healthe », hope Benjamin Cohadon.

A philosophy in the image of the operation of the center, itself in self-management. Also remunerated at €16.40 gross per hour, the 18 employees of the association share daily tasks, such as maintenance of spaces, shopping or coordination times, “an additional investmentementary but which promotes the taking ofehorizontal decision, smoother communication”recalls Muriel, social worker, before adding: “And therefore, better patient follow-up. »

Selected by the government for an experiment around “participatory” health centres, Village 2 Santé has now joined the national network of community health centers to work on advocacy and support the creation of new places everywhere.

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