By: Beau Boughamer
My Communications colleague Amy Simmons and I were in New Mexico last week for the annual State/Regional Primary Care Association Conference. Health center news piled up while we were away! A sampling:
The health care center will be the fourth site operated by Ohio North East Health Systems Inc. and will be the second in Warren. … Dr. Ronald Dwinnells, executive director and CEO of ONE Health Systems, said the nonprofit agency started in 1986 and opened its first site in Youngstown in 1994. … Dwinnells said only 12,000 square feet will be used initially and will include nine medical examination rooms and six dental operatories featuring state-of-the-art digital equipment. Eventually, obstetrics, gynecology and podiatry will be added to the Niles Road facility. … He said the cost of the renovations and new equipment purchased for the Niles Road site is nearly $1 million, with approximately $880,000 being funded by federal stimulus money. ”The unemployment rate is the highest in the state, and with unemployment comes loss of health care coverage,” he said, noting that more than 80 percent of children in Warren City Schools come from families that are at or below federal poverty guidelines.
The Kenosha News in Wisconsin explained that a health center is among those taking part in a partnership that’s providing free visits to those with flu-like symptoms.
In Kenosha County, the Kenosha Community Health Center, 4536 22nd Ave., and the Aurora Medical Center walk-in clinic, 10400 75th St, are participating. “We just want to make sure everybody has an option for care,” said Seth Boffeli, spokesman for the Department of Health Services. Boffeli said free services are limited to consultations directly connected with the flu.
“After a tour of Thundermist Health Center guided by President Maria Montanaro, Congressman David Obey, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee praised it as an ‘especially innovative” facility,’ reported the Woonsocket, R.I. Call.
“It provides, I think, much more personalized and respectful opportunities for care that you often get in health facilities,” Obey told reporters before he and his host, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, went into a closed-door meeting with Thundermist executives. “Community health centers are going to play a crucial role in the delivery of health care services around the country in the next decade. They are going to play an ever-expanding role.” Kennedy said he wanted to show Obey, who represents a district in Wisconsin, the Thundermist facility because the chairman has been helpful in recent years in funding many of the center’s programs and initiatives. Thundermist, Kennedy said, “is a model for excellence in health care sectors and community health that we have in the country,” and “David Obey as chairman of the appropriations committee has been a leader in funding these community health centers nationally.