Community health center to open in Stony Ridge PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:35
Joseph Liszak, Chief Executive Officer, standing in front of new Community Health Services in Stony Ridge. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
STONY RIDGE - A new community health center will open Monday in northern Wood County, seeking to provide affordable health care access for residents.
Community Health Services, based in Fremont, will open its ninth location at 5734 Fremont Pike, Stony Ridge. A public open house will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
"Its role is to serve the community and to serve everyone who needs primary health care," said Joe Liszak, chief executive officer of Community Health Services, which has been established for 42 years in Fremont.
"We want to reduce ER visits and get people into a continuum of care," he said.
As a community health center, the facility is able to accept all patients, regardless of insurance coverage, or lack thereof. Services are offered on a sliding scale.
"Wood County still has a lot of people on Medicare and Medicaid or who are on a sliding fee and still do not have access to a physician," he said.
The 7,000 square-foot facility has nine exam rooms, a triage area, registration/lobby area, doctor's offices, community and conference rooms, staff lounge, administrative offices and a nurses' station.
The center will begin with one physician, but will expand to three service providers.
Community Health Services also has continued its partnership with Pathology Laboratories, which means residents can also have lab work done at the center. The center also has electronic medical records and discounted medications.
Dental care is not provided at the Stony Ridge location, but patients will receive priority scheduling for dental work at the Fremont location.
"We have always served Wood County residents down in Fremont," Liszak said. "We have a lot of people who drive there for health care services and dental services."
Examining rooms are seen at the new Community Health Services in Stony Ridge.
Originally, the health center was planned for construction in Bowling Green.
"But we think this was a better access point for folks and there was a need here," Liszak said.
The new construction in Stony Ridge is part of a nationwide trend to increase community health centers as a result of the Affordable Health Care Act.
Community Health Services applied and received a $650,000 grant from the government for its new location in Stony Ridge. The money has been earmarked for operations expenses. Community Health Services had to fund construction costs.
Prior to the health center, the property was home to a bank. At first, the plan was to renovate the old 3,200 square-foot bank.
"But, it would have been really tight," Liszak said.
Instead, developers decided to tear down and build new, more than doubling the space.
"It has taken us a little more time, but we wanted to give our residents a brand new facility," Liszak said.
On the lot next to the health center, just before Pee Wee's, the storage building will be torn down and turned into green space.
As a service to the area, Community Health Services also offers the use of its community and conference rooms to non-profit organizations at no cost.
Hours for the health center are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening hours are also planned.

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