Ceremonial Ground-Breaking Held For Integrated Rural Health Clinic In Spencer
A ceremonial ground-breaking was recently held for a new integrated rural health clinic in Spencer aimed at enhancing Owen County residents’ access to needed healthcare services. The clinic, which will combine and expand Centerstone’s current U.S. 231N location with its Johnson Nichols Health Clinic on West Morgan Street, will be located on 3.26 acres on Bob Babbs Drive.
Due the weather, the official “ground-breaking” for the $1,025,000 integrated rural health clinic project was held in the community room at the Owen County Family YMCA.
Those in attendance included District 46 State Representative Bob Heaton, Spencer Town Council members, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs West Central Community Liaison Jill Curry, and representatives from the Southern Indiana Development Commission, Owen County Chamber of Commerce, Owen County Economic Development Corporation, and area business leaders.
Presenters included Suzanne Koesel (Centerstone C.E.O.), Bob Siegmann (Centerstone Sr. Vice President of Healthcare Integration and Innovation), Linda Trader (Centerstone Board Chair), Matt Sward (Southern Indiana Development Commission), and Spencer Town Council President Cynthia Hyde. Recently retired Johnson Nichols Director Ruth Ralph and new Johnson Nichols Director Stephanie LaFontaine were also in attendance.
Looking back, the Town of Spencer and Centerstone were awarded a $400,000 Community Focus Fund grant to support the project in early November of 2013. The grant is funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant program, which is administered by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Centerstone is providing an additional $625,000 to fund the project.
“Owen County is a medically underserved area,” Spencer Town Council President Cynthia Hyde told the Spencer Evening World in November. “The nearest hospital is about a 30-minute drive, making access to healthcare services a challenge. This grant provides critical funding to launch an integrated health clinic that will be able to meet the physical and behavioral healthcare needs of citizens in one facility.”
Centerstone has provided mental health and addiction services to children, adults and families in Owen County since 1974. Johnson Nichols Health Clinic has provided primary health care to residents since 1983. The new combined clinic will provide a range of primary care and behavioral healthcare services. Having comprehensive, coordinated care within one location is key as studies have shown that behavioral and physical health disorders often overlap. Sixty-eight percent of adults with mental health concerns also have physical conditions, and 29 percent of people with physical illnesses have mental health conditions.
The new, 9,000-square-foot integrated clinic will be located within walking distance of many residential areas in Spencer. It will have four mixed-use offices, five staff offices, six exam rooms, a nurse’s station, conference room, break room, seven restrooms, two waiting rooms and a patient check-in area. The location on Bob Babbs Drive, adjacent to the Spencer Save-A-Lot, allows for expansion to meet future community healthcare needs.
“We want to thank the Spencer community for their tremendous support for this project,” said Bob Siegmann MBA, LCSW, Vice President for Healthcare Integration at Centerstone. “This integration of behavioral and physical health care is unique in rural Indiana. We look forward to a community open house for this new clinic early in 2015.”
The clinic will accept health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid and have a sliding fee scale for low income residents without health insurance. No resident will be turned away because of an inability to pay for services.
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