Second USI Health Center opens at Cedar Hall

James Vaughn

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A second USI Community Health Center opened at Cedar Hall Community School Jan. 9, exactly one year after the first community center opened at Glenwood Leadership Academy.

USI Community Health Centers Director Mayola Rowser said the Glenwood Center has done well.

 

 

They have seen more than 400 patients, with many becoming regulars, she said. 

Approximately 50 USI students have received training within the center.

“The centers provide students with interprofessional opportunities at any level, both undergraduate and graduate, both educational and clinical,” Rowser said.

Patients waited outside for Cedar Hall’s doors to open at 8 a.m. Jan. 9.

“It was very exciting for us to already have appointments scheduled on the first day,” Rowser said. “The media exposure was great, too.”

College of Nursing and Health Professions Dean Ann White said the idea of the Community Health Centers came from a group of citizens that realized some people in the city had no form of healthcare and no family doctors so they were using emergency rooms.

“That’s a very expensive way to be treated or cared for,” White said.

The university decided to work with the Evansville Vanderburgh County School Corporation (EVSC), St. Mary’s Health System and Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. to find a place where they could provide simple care so that the local emergency rooms weren’t overcrowded, she said.

“Glenwood is a phenomenal example,” White said. “The Glenwood Leadership Academy is the center of the Glenwood community. It’s kind of the piece that holds everyone together and they had a place for us there.”

The clinics are serving different populations depending on the area.

The third clinic, which will open at the Juan Diego Center at Nativity Church in 2014, will serve a predominantly Hispanic population, White said.

Each of the three nurse-managed clinics will offer the same kinds of services and are using a sliding scale for patient fees, she said.

This means that a patient’s income determines how much they pay for care. Patients can use Medicaid and Medicare as well.

If someone doesn’t have insurance, there are people available to assist him or her with the application process.

“Not only that,” White said. “But now we have a place where our nurse practitioner students can go and do rotations.”

Food and nutrition, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy and social work students are also gaining experience at the centers.

“It’s kind of a win-win if you will,” White said. “It helps the communities but also provides some avenues for us as well.”

The university received funding for the centers through a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant.

The $1.2 million grant covers five years, and it’s currently in its second year.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions and EVSC also provide funding for the centers.

White said the university has an account for the centers, which receives little money.

The money that does go into the account is turned around and put back into the clinics.

She said the reason the money must stay within the centers is because about 85 percent of the patients seen have no health insurance, which is why the clinics use the sliding scale. The patients contribute what they can, which isn’t much.

The Centers have received a lot of support and recognition, White said.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke became interested in what USI has been able to do at Glenwood, and he is now part of the Advisory Council for the Community Health Centers, she said.

The council meets on a quarterly basis to talk about what is going on in the clinics and share advice and ideas to help them proceed efficiently.

White said the Community Health Center at Glenwood has received recognition at many national conferences and in a variety of publications.

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