USI opens third community health center

Bobby Shipman

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The College of Nursing and Health Professions opened its third community health center at Lodge Community School Jan. 9.

Like its predecessors at Glenwood and Cedar Hall, the Lodge health center provides affordable treatments and exams for the community, but it is the first with an Interpreter, Jessica Hernandez, and Trilingual Nurse Practitioner, Karen Brossman, on hand.

Through a partnership with HOLA – a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural diversity and the successful inclusion of Latino’s in the community – the Lodge Community Health Center looks to target the Hispanic community.

Vice President of the Board at HOLA Daniela Vidal said it is a place where they can come on a regular basis with bilingual providers – something not previously available.

“It’s going to help because, traditionally, the Latino community would just go to the Emergency Room because they don’t have any other option,” Vidal said. “So now having this will dramatically reduce the cost of medicine.”

Vidal said the center also provides a means of preventative care, which helps to avoid pricey emergency room bills.

The health center allows patients to pay on a sliding scale fee based on income.

Outreach and Operations Manager for the Lodge Community Health Center Karen Pruitt said the center welcomes the entire community and hopes the center will help kids in school.

“If they (the kids) are in class and they are sick, you know they are not learning if they are not comfortable,” Pruitt said. “Hopefully, it will be a quick fix for them.”

Jan. 9’s soft opening allowed the public to get a preview of the facility before it is up and running.

The center began seeing patients, with the grand opening at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Pruitt said she hopes the center will host events similar to those held at Glenwood and Cedar Hall.

“We do try to hold different health fairs throughout these clinics,” Pruitt said. “They are women’s and men’s health days. For instance, on the women’s health days, we provide free pap smears and then we will have St. Mary’s come and set up their portable mammogram unit and they get free mammograms as well.”

“Our primary mission is we are open to anyone. Whether they have insurance or not, we’ll see them,” Pruitt said. “No one is turned away.”

FAST FACTS:

Lodge Community Health Center hours:

Monday, Thursday and Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Open exclusively to Lodge Community School Tuesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Location:

Lodge Community School

2000 Lodge Ave. Evansville, Ind. 47714

Call 812-435-0977 to schedule an appointment.

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