CNHC looks to meet health needs in community
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Posted by: Samantha Porter
CIRCLEVILLE — Almost a year after opening their Circleville office, the Columbus Neighborhood Health Center (CNHC) is still working to meet heath needs in the community.
CNHC is a federally qualified health center that works to care for an underserved population or area, use a sliding fee scale and provide comprehensive services. It is partially funded by the Public Health Service Act.
Reed Fraley, associate director and acting CEO of CNHC, said the organization has worked to increase service hours to provide more options for families who cannot make it to regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. doctor visits.
“We believe that where we are, there are struggles for people,” he said. “Those struggles may be that there aren’t enough providers. Those struggles may be financial or economic, or social issues. We’ve fundamentally brought one new provider to the community and we see ourselves trying to bring more to the community and expanding with mental health capabilities.
“Our vision, in the simplest terms, is to increase access to care, expand services and bring additional providers,” Fraley said. “We’ve done those things and we will continue to do those things with our partner, Berger Health Systems.”
Fraley said they have not served as many people as they had hoped in the first year, falling short of their goal of 4,000 visits.
“We opened slowly and saw about 1,650 different patients and 3,800 visits,” Fraley said. “We’re very comfortable with what we hoped to do. We haven’t quite reached what we had hoped for as far as numbers.”
Fraley said the two key events of the first year were the opening of the office and Dr. Gary Gillen joining with his practice.
“With that, we went through some opening struggles, not really anything that was unforeseen, and we are very pleased with what we had expected,” Fraley said.
All in all, Fraley said they are not trying to replace the free clinic — they are trying to fill the needs of the community.
“We’re trying to fill in those gaps and barriers,” Fraley said. “They can be a number of things — number or location of providers, economic, social, or a multitude of things. We try to be responsive and see if we can provide care and provide the best quality care and locations where those barriers can be taken care of.”