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$1.4 million grant to expand health coverage

Community Health and Wellness Partners of Logan County will use a $1.4 million, two-year federal grant to provide health care services to underserved residents.

Health Resources and Services Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified the group this month that it was receiving the grant, said Tara Wager, President and CEO of Community Health and Wellness of Logan County.

Eleven health organizations in Ohio received money through the program, but Logan County got the most.

“I’m surprised. I don’t have any idea why we received the most funds,” said Wagner.

CHWP is transitioning Mad River Family Practice from a hospital owned family practice to a community health center. A major goal is to create a “one-stop shop” for health care, including dental care, in the county for Medicaid patients, Wager said.

CHWP received an $80,000 grant in 2011 to access the county’s needs, Wager said. The study found Logan County lacked services available to low-income families and minorities.

“It’s great having a full service facility that’s not just your family doctor. There is also mental health counseling there, social services coordination and dental. All those kind of practices at that same location,” Tony Core, a Logan County commissioner and board chairman, said.

Mad River Family Practice is a safety net the community, Wager said. ”We see a high volume of Medicaid patients and as the safety net we were the ones seeing new patients. No other providers in the county are. So with that safety net we needed a way to sustain ourselves, thus the reason for applying for the grant,” Wagner said.

There is a sliding pay scale for all the services, but everyone still has to pay something, Wager said.

The group is located on SR 68 in the Oakhills Medical Center but is looking to move into another building in Bellefontaine.

“We will have to expand as we add services,” Wagner said.

CHWP is also opening a primary care center in Russesl’s Point at Indian Lake.

Lower Lights in Union was one of the 11 health organizations in the region to receive a grant.

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