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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • New health center off to great start

  • When funding was awarded in November 2013 for the area's new federally-qualified health center, now known as Your Community Health Center, the board of directors was under a mandate to have the facility up and running in less than 120 days.
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  • When funding was awarded in November 2013 for the area's new federally-qualified health center, now known as Your Community Health Center, the board of directors was under a mandate to have the facility up and running in less than 120 days.
    On Feb. 27, 2014, the center opened its doors for the first patients.
    "It was a huge goal, and it had to be accomplished in a short time frame," explained Amy Beechner-McCarthy, the health center's chief executive officer. "We were able to lease space in Phelps County Regional Medical Center's Medical Office Building, we hired staff and providers and we hit the ground running. We are open and accepting new patients now."
    The health center is located in Suite 480 of the office building and serves as a primary care access point for patients with private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and self-pay on a sliding scale.
    Providers include Dr. Bonnie Ranney, medical director; Jenny Gradel and Elaine Briggs, both family nurse practitioners; Jackie Arnold and Jennifer Matchell, both Licensed Practical Nurses.
    Staff members include Beechner-McCarthy; Kathy Duncan, finance director; and Angie Jones, medical biller/coder.
    Behavioral health care consultants are Dr. Machaela Beezley, and Carly Nikel, MA. Arnold and Matchell are "homegrown" Licensed Practical Nurses. Both are graduates of the nursing program at Rolla Technical Center in Rolla.
    Beechner-McCarthy said that the health center will be hiring another family practice physician, a dentist and a social worker to complete staffing.
    "Your Community Health Center will eventually be bringing the Smile Mobile, the mobile dental clinic, back in service, too," explained Beechner-McCarthy.
    However, the Smile Mobile needed new tires and other issues resolved first, she said.
    Jeff Walker, owner of The Family Center in Rolla, purchased a set of new tires for the Smile Mobile, Beechner-McCarthy said. “He called recently to say the tires were in, and we hope to get them installed soon. We're so grateful for his help."
    The health center's staff and providers said they are excited about serving patients.
    "Making sure patients get the best possible care is my priority," said Gradel, a newlywed from Washington, Mo. "This is an underserved area. Knowing I am making a difference in people's lives by giving them quality health care gives me a lot of satisfaction."
    Briggs said she is already enjoying the education aspect of working at Your Community Health Center.
    "The thing I like to do the most with patients is to educate them," she said. "I want them to know why I am doing what I am doing for them, and they are always happy when I share information about their treatment."
    Beechner-McCarthy would also like the public to know that Your Community Health Center is not just for Phelps County.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We are here to serve patients," she said, “whether or not they are from this area. Everyone deserves access to quality health care."
    Your Community Health Center's hours are from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    For information, or to make an appointment, call 573-426-4455.
    The community health center’s website is www.yourcommunityhealthcenter.org.

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