One North Country health center is taking every opportunity it can to celebrate the improvements it has made over the past 10 months. Elizabeth Jeneault shares how the North Country Family Health Center plans to stay on course.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- The North Country Family Health Center has begun reflecting on the journey it has made over the past year. In October, its poor financial status led it to nearly close up shop. Samaritan Medical Center stepped up to help and now, it's back on its own.
"Samaritan played a pivotal role in the achievement of getting us back on our feet and creating a business model that was financially sustainable," said NCFHC Executive Director Joey Marie Horton.
Last week, the center unveiled its new sign and announced that its temporary operator agreement with SMC had ended. It is spreading the news all during an important time, as it's National Health Center Week.
"We're a strong organization, still devoted very heavily to our mission of providing health care to all," said Horton.
As a federally qualified health center, the agency is required to provide physical, behavioral and dental care to all regardless of age or ability to pay. Yet the center believes that many people still don't understand that it offers those services. The agency changed its name last year to try to spread the word about that.
"We really want to share with the community that we're are a family health center now, serving the whole region," said Horton.
SMC will continue to provide NCFHC with advice and some new additions to its board of directors are expected to keep the center on the right path.
"Actually, most of the people on our board are our patients," said Horton. "So, the board uses the services of the health center and they also have expertise in different areas."
The center says it'll do everything it can to continue to steer in the right direction.
It's also looking forward to opening of a smaller health center in Lowville next month.