Two Clermont County healthcare facilities are now scheduled to be built after a federal grant for $9.7 million was approved for HealthSource of Ohio in December 2009.
The grant was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was one of only 85 grants awarded throughout the nation according to Lisa Jackson, vice president of marketing and development with HealthSource of Ohio.
“There were 700 applicants who applied for the grants and only 85 were awarded,” said Jackson. “We got exactly what we asked for receiving the 18th highest award. It was a very competitive process.”
"We have never had an opportunity to update our facilities," said Jackson. "This award will cover not only building new facilities, but also all the necessary equipment."
Building larger facilities will enable the community-based health centers to care for 6,000 more patients.
The grant will pay for the construction of a 12,000 square foot building for New Richmond Family Practice to be located less than a mile from its present location. The site is situated on a hill above old state Route 52.
A 15,000 square foot facility is planned for Eastgate Pediatrics, currently located on Ferguson Drive. The new building will be located on Mt. Carmel-Tobasco Road next to Child Focus.
"We are currently one of the few pediatric facilities in the county that accepts medicaid. There is a growing need for pediatric providers. Our goal is to have room to grow, add more providers and we need to have the buildings finished by the end of 2011," said Jackson. "Three years from now we will have the buildings fully staffed."
Jackson said that the new facilities will be constructed using the Leadership in Energy Environment Design (LEED) Silver Certification designs. With solar panels incorporated into the design, they will be more energy efficient structures than the present buildings.
"We have hired Cresa Partners to help with oversee the construction and management of construction and we will make plans to break ground in the late spring of this year," she said. "In our application we stated that we expect to create about 200 local construction jobs. We will be creating between 10 to 12 new staffing positions when the buildings are complete. For each provider we hire, we need about three support staff members."
HealthSource of Ohio is a private, not-for-profit Federally Qualified Community Health Center. It was founded in 1976 to address the issue of access to primary health care.
"We are a true community health center," said Jackson. "We have 13 offices serving people in five counties in southern Ohio. We believe that everyone deserves access to quality primary health care services and our mission is to bring to the underserved people of Southwest Ohio improved access to and availability of affordable health care that is responsive to their needs and values. We treat all patients regardless of their ability to pay. We are the state of Ohio's largest community health center."
The HealthSource office in Milford does all the billing, hiring and recruitment for the area offices.
"We do all the paperwork in Milford so our physicians don't have to spend their valuable time doing billing and hiring," said Jackson. "In 2008, our 60 primary care providers treated 54,616 patients."
For more information about HealthSource of Ohio, contact them at (513) 576-7700 or visit their web site at www.healthsourceofohio.com.