Earlier this year, a significant United Way of Wise County goal was realized with the opening of the Wise County Community Health Center, the first federally qualified health center (FQHC) in the county.
The idea for such a clinic began in 2004 when former Wise County Judge Dick Chase mentioned it. United Way of Wise County began to set aside funds in 2005 to help start a clinic that would provide an array of medical services to uninsured and underinsured residents, but the plan simmered for years until 2009 when Congresswoman Kay Granger suggested that UWWC executive director Martin Woodruff get in touch with people involved with the Albert Galvan Health Clinic in Fort Worth, the North Texas Area Community Health Centers (NTACHC).
Despite not receiving a federal grant to serve as seed money, one thing lead to another – local donors stepped up, Wise Regional Health System donated space for the center and UWWC offered start-up funds – and the clinic (FQHC) opened in February on the west campus of WRHS.
The clinic offers a sliding payment scale for uninsured and low-income patients. It accepts private insurance, Medicaid, Children’s Medicaid (CHIP) and Medicare.
Services include immunizations; preventive care; acute, chronic and routine examinations; management of chronic illness such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, chronic heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; adolescent health services; obstetric services; well exams; and children’s physical exams.
It averages 10 to 15 patients per day.
Arcadio Viveros, CEO of NTACHC, said he hopes for the clinic to develop into “a one-stop shop” for family health care. That includes eventually adding dental, optometry and behavioral health services.
The clinic, located at 2000 S. FM 51, Suite D, is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (940) 393-0100.