Message from the Chief Executive Officer Emeritus

“Health care is a right and not a privilege”, is a statement echoed repeatedly in the past years.  But today it still rings “false” for the indigent and uninsured.  Covenant House Health Services, however, remains committed to providing equal access and a range of basic services, regardless of the ability to pay.  Fragmented health care is incompatible with the needs of the twenty-first   century, especially for the indigent population.

Resources must be used wisely, and patient care viewed by the providers as holistic for the patient, and not directed solely along traditional lines.  The challenge of delivering high quality, comprehensive care in an era of shrinking resources has led us to develop community-oriented programs, with focus on coordinated care for the family.  As a major health care resource in Northwest Philadelphia since 1964, we constantly battle the issue of healthcare costs and healthcare growth, and the current inequities in the system.  Our meaningful dialogue with the Germantown community helps assure that our Center is responsive to their needs by developing programs that minimize disease and social disintegration, and promote the respect needed to change life-styles.  Although we provide treatment where needed, our driving force is prevention.  Covenant House Health Services will continue to strive to obtain resources to provide quality primary care to all in need.

Rosetta Smith, RN, BSN, MSN, MPH

Chief Executive Director Emeritus

Our Practice

At Covenant House Inc. our purpose is to spark equity through patient-led healthcare that welcomes and strengthens our communities by integrating body, mind and spirit.

CHI is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) established in 1964. CHI is located in Germantown and covers the Northwest section of Philadelphia Pa.  The primary focus of CHI is to enhance the provision of primary care services in medically underserved urban communities. CHI cares for patients with no insurance, commercial insurance, Medicaid and Medicare.  Our Sliding Fee Discount Program provides a discounted rate or nominal fee for medical, behavioral and preventive dental services.

CHI consists of dedicated and caring members. The members include adult providers, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, ob-gyn specialist, dental providers, certified medical assistants, behavioral health consultants, substance use disorder providers, registration and appointment clerks, billing clerks and administrative professionals as well as our Board of Directors.

Our Vision

Our vision is to provide leadership and services in healthcare necessary to improve the health status of all citizens in our communities. Our focus is the following:

  • Promoting 100% access to necessary healthcare services
  • Eliminating health status disparities
  • Empowering our citizens to choose healthy, prosperous lifestyles


Our Mission

The mission of Covenant House Health Services Inc. is to provide and facilitate access to comprehensive health services, primarily to individuals and families in the Greater Germantown communities and Northwest Philadelphia.  These services are provided without discrimination and with careful attention to physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

Our Leadership

New Project (7)

    • Dr. Susan Stukes, DDS
      Chief Exective Officer

    • Sam Chukwueze, MBA,CPA
      Chief Operating Officer
      Chief Financial Officer

    • Fredricia Jennings, MBA

    • Human Resources Director

Board of Directors

Covenant House Incorporated meets the Federal statutory requirements for community health centers in terms of governance and management. Our Board of Directors is an effective leadership team with a minimum of 51% of its members serving as “consumer members.” As actual users of health center services, these consumer members represent the needs and concerns of the patients we serve. The remaining Board Members must be representative of our community and are selected for their knowledge of community affairs, local government, finance and banking, legal affairs, social service agencies and other areas of expertise.

We have a wide range of diversity on our Board of Directors in terms of race, culture, income level, education level, professions and age. Board Members truly enjoy the work of the Board and many have served multiple terms of office. Covenant House Inc. offers Board Members the opportunity to participate on one or more well-functioning Board committees that meet regularly to discuss business on behalf of the organization.

Bertha Finney, Board President

Ms. Bertha Finney has been a member of CHI’s Board of Directors for over 20 years. She is a retiree from the federal government, Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Finney is a staunch advocate of community health centers and views them as a godsend to under privileged and underserved communities. Mrs. Finney organized Pens and Pencils, an organization which sent school supplies to children in Africa. Her heartfelt desire has always been to serve at home. She has accomplished this through Covenant House Inc. both as patient and a board member for many years

Phyllis Niblack, RN, Board Vice-President

Ms. Niblack is a retired Registered Nurse and has been a member of Covenant House Inc.’s Board of Directors for over 20 years

Richard A. Kolb, Esquire Board Treasurer

Mr. Richard A. Kolb, Esq. is a retired attorney who has been a member for the Board of Directors since 1986. He currently serves as the Board Treasurer. He was born and raised in Germantown and maintains a strong connection with the community. Despite his retirement from active practice, Mr. Kolb continues to teach as an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. Much of his earlier legal work involved representing healthcare providers in civil litigation matters, which provided valuable experience for his role as a Board member at Covenant House Inc.

Gwendolyn Starks, Board Member

Gwendolyn Starks is retired after 35 years with the School District of Philadelphia.  She has been a patient of Covenant House Inc for over 40 years with 4 generations of family members following in her footsteps.  Her dedication to CHI is indicative of her knowledge of how necessary CHI is to the community of northwest Germantown.

Reverend Annlouise Goodner-Brown, Board Member

Reverend Goodner-Brown is an ordained and licensed Minister who has served on CHI’s Board of Directors for over 8 years.  Reverend Brown is a Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and volunteers with The Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Hospital and Shriner’s Hospital.  Reverend Brown is also active with the Tri-County Lupus Foundation United and is a founding member of the Christian Church of Philadelphia.  Reverend Brown actively serves on several boards and sponsors two students in Africa.

Cory Clark, Board Member

Cory Clark is a Photojournalist and Correspondent focused on Human Rights and other social issues. His work is featured in hundreds of media outlets, from Philly Magazine to Fortune. He has been a long-time freelancer for Getty Images, The Associated Press, SIPA, and Association French Presse. He is also a regular contributor with The Local here in NW Philadelphia as a Human Rights, political correspondent, and photojournalist. Cory, his wife, and his son are long-time residents of East Germantown and are CHI patients as well.

Kathleen Card, Board Member

Kathleen Card is a retired Medicare sales person who loves to garden & oil paint. “I consider it an honor to serve on the board of the Covenant House. Giving back to community in the city I love is a blessing.”  Ms. Card is also a patient at CHI.

Francine Fulton, M.Ed, PhD, Board Member

Dr. Fulton has been an educator since being certified as a Child Care Worker at Temple University in 1974.  She has taught all age levels from pre/nursery school to adults at the Graduate level at Temple University and Beaver College (aka Arcadia University).  She holds a Master of Human Services Degree from Lincoln University, and a M. Ed and Ph. D from Temple University.  She is the co-founder of Imhotep Institute Charter High School and served as Principal for the school year 1998/1999.  She is the founder of Imani Education Circle Charter School and served as CEO from 1999 to retirement in 2015.  Dr. Fulton, a CHHDS patient, is a great recent addition to CHI’s Board of Directors.


 251 East Bringhurst Street Philadelphia, PA 19144

Your Community Health Professionals

(215) 844-1020


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