North Country Family Health Center (NCFHC) will join over 1,400 other Community Health Centers across the United States in celebrating National Health Center Week, August 12-18, 2018. The theme of this year’s celebration is, “Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Healthcare Heroes.”
The first Community Health Centers, also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers, were established in the United States more than 50 years ago by community residents and healthcare providers who believed that everyone should have access to quality healthcare no matter who they are, where they live, or their ability to pay. This movement launched healthcare services, and a variety of healthcare providers, into medically underserved areas all across the country. Today, Community Health Centers are located in over 10,000 communities in every state and territory and the District of Columbia and serve over 27 million people, 8 million of which are children!
“The statistics are staggering – 1 in 12 people living in the United States depend on Community Health Centers to provide them with quality healthcare services,” states Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director, NCFHC. “We served just over 10,000 patients in 2017 who made nearly 36,000 visits to our medical, dental, and behavioral health programs.” NCFHC is a Patient-Centered Medical Home and a Federally Qualified Health Center – designations that reflect quality of care and a commitment to breaking down barriers and providing healthcare access to all. NCFHC is one of 65 Community Health Centers in New York State, delivering services to over 2.2 million patients annually via 750 delivery sites within the state. NCFHC has nine permanent delivery sites and provides preventative oral healthcare services via a mobile School-Based Dental Program throughout six school districts in Jefferson and Lewis Counties.
Community Health Centers not only help prevent illness and foster wellness, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in every community. “We have approximately 120 individuals who come to work each day in positions including clinicians, nurses, social workers, dentists, dental hygienists, care coordinators, and many more, who work together to provide high quality, integrated healthcare to all of our patients,” states Cheryl Fazio, RN, Clinical Operations Officer. “Our staff work together to address all factors that may contribute to poor health including, lack of nutrition, transportation, and stable housing. Additionally, our model of care focuses on integration of all services, from medical to behavioral health to dental, to ensure we provide whole person care. It is the staff and their commitment to our mission to improve the health and wellness of individuals in our community that has made the organization so successful today.”
Staff will celebrate National Health Center Week with two events – the first, an Open House, which is open to the public, on Tuesday, August 14th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at NCFHC’s main office, 238 Arsenal Street, Watertown, and the second, an employee celebration, on Thursday, August 16th. “We are excited to open our doors to the community on Tuesday, August 14th to showcase our recently renovated facility,” comments Joey Marie Horton, Executive Director. “We were thrilled to receive a $1 million award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in May 2016 through the Health Infrastructure Investment Program. NCFHC was able to leverage this grant award and invest in its infrastructure at our main location to expand clinical space, create a centralized check-in/check-out area, redesign the WIC Program client flow, and promote further integration of medical, behavioral health, and dental services. Specifically, we were able to add six new primary care exam rooms, one additional dental exam room, and a care coordination suite.”
North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to over 10,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations in Watertown, Adams Center, and Mannsville. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting women and individuals who experience insecure housing.
For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org or call (315) 782-9450.