GREENFIELD — A health care safety net has been deployed in Hancock County for the residents that need it most.
With the opening of the Jane Pauley Community Health Center’s new clinic in Greenfield, primary medical care is now available to uninsured county residents and those on Medicaid with no access to local treatment.
The 4,800-square-foot facility recently opened its North State Street location and is currently seeing about a dozen patients daily, said Nicole Mann, site manager for the new clinic.
Story continues below gallery
“It’s going very, very well,” Mann said.
The clinic opened with little fanfare or marketing to make sure its systems checked out, but once the big marquee sign went up above the door, the patients began rolling in.
In the short time since its opening last month, the facility is already seeing about half of the nearly two dozen patients the Indianapolis-based organization set as a daily goal, Mann said.
“It’s so fantastic; there is such a huge need,” Mann said. “We’re focusing on uninsured and low-income patients that are not going to physicians because they can’t afford it.”
“We are a safety-net provider that sees patients regardless of their ability to pay,” added Marc Hackett, executive director.
The clinic is equipped with 10 exam rooms, two of which are earmarked for behavioral health, and is currently staffed with six employees from Hancock Physician Network, including two full-time family nurse practitioners who are at the facility Monday through Friday.
Dr. Teresa Jones, a Greenfield family practice physician, is also slated to see patients on Fridays from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Talks about partnering with Hancock Regional Hospital began about 18 months ago in response to overuse of the hospital’s emergency department by uninsured patients.
There was also hope the center would stem an exodus of Medicaid patients going from Hancock County to Jane Pauley centers in Indianapolis.
Only one of the three available Medicaid programs is accepted by health care providers in Hancock County, and most area physicians have topped out on accepting new patients under the program, leaving local Medicaid patients no alternative but to seek out-of-county treatment.
The hospital paid $225,000 to build the clinic, and the health center rents the space. The partnership also allows referrals from the clinic to the hospital without patients having to reapply for financial assistance, Hackett said.
Hospital chief operating officer Rob Matt said the hospital’s partnership with the clinic fills a significant void that existed in the county’s health care network.
“It’s all about having another access point to health care,” Matt said. “If you think about where the gap was, it was providing a point of access for uninsured and Medicaid patients.
“This is the right level of care at the right cost for the folks that need it. That’s the beautiful thing,” Matt said.
Named after 1968 Warren Central High School graduate and television journalist Jane Pauley, the health center opened its first collaborative facility in Indianapolis in 2009 with the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Community Health Network and the Community Health Network Foundation.
In addition to its Greenfield clinic, the organization has nine other clinics and school wellness centers that are open to the community in Indianapolis, Anderson and Shelbyville.
The local clinic has plenty of room to grow with another 3,000 square feet available to build out for other services.
“The hope for all of us is to have all of the services here and have it a one-stop shop for health care, so people don’t have to leave Hancock County,” Mann said.
“This provides the right level of care at the right cost to the people that need it. That’s the beautiful thing.” Rob Matt, Hancock Regional Hospital chief operating officer.
What: The Jane Pauley Community Health Center Greenfield Clinic is a partnership between JPCHC in Indianapolis and Hancock Regional Hospital. It is a federally qualified health-care center providing primary health care to individuals and families regardless of insurance status.
Where: 1107 N. State St., Greenfield.
Services provided: Primary and behavioral care for uninsured and underinsured residents.
For more information: Call (317) 477-5263 or go online to www.janepauleychc.com