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Heritage Community Clinic honored by state

(Athens, OH – Dec. 4, 2015) — The Heritage Community Clinic at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has a special reason to celebrate Free Clinic Appreciation month. The Ohio Association of Free Clinics (OAFC) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) have recognized the facility as the state’s Free Clinic of the Year.

The honor is one of four new awards established by state legislation last year, designating December as Free Clinic Appreciation Month. The awards – which also include Free Clinic Physician, Nurse and Dentist of the Year – were presented by ODH officials at the Ohio Statehouse Dec. 2.

“We feel very honored and grateful to be chosen for this award,” said Kathy Trace, M.A., B.S.N., R.N., director of Community Health Programs and the Area Health Education Center at the Heritage College. “We are fortunate to have the support of the Heritage College and the service of dedicated physicians and passionate staff who provide the care for our community. And of course, we deeply appreciate our grantors and collaborators who make this work possible.”

Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., called the award a well-deserved acknowledgement, for a program that embodies a central part of the college’s mission. “The work of our faculty, students and staff in the Heritage Community Clinic exemplifies this college’s commitment to improving health care access for the people of our region who need it most,” Johnson said. “It is so fitting and really great to see their dedication and hard work being recognized.”

ODH Director Rick Hodges praised the Heritage Community Clinic and the more than 50 other free clinics statewide for their work. “Affordable, accessible health care is essential and Ohio’s free clinics play an important role in providing both for Ohioans,” Hodges said. “The Ohio Department of Health is proud to honor the exceptional work of Ohio’s free clinics and their outstanding volunteers that help protect and improve the life of all Ohioans.”

OAFC Executive Director Deborah Miller said the group “is extremely thankful to be able to work with the Legislature and ODH to recognize the hard work of Ohio’s free clinics and the volunteers who serve there. The work being done through the free clinic systems is meeting the needs of the most at-risk individuals in Ohio; those who remain without coverage or without access to care."

The Heritage Community Clinic, located on the ground floor of Grosvenor West Hall in Athens, offers primary and specialty health care to qualifying adults in Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Perry and Washington counties. It provides referrals to other area care providers, as well as help with prescriptions. The clinic’s two mobile units, which contain fully equipped examination rooms, regularly visit multiple counties in the region to provide screenings, immunizations and other health care services.

In 2014-15, according to Community Health Programs, the clinic served 598 patients with care at a value of $72,368; distributed 346 prescription vouchers and reimbursed local pharmacies $15,597; provided 115 prescription medications at a value of $177,866; and provided supplies including diabetes testing materials worth $32,063.

In addition to funding from the Heritage College and OAFC, the clinic received support in 2014-15 from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, Sisters Health Foundation, Susan G. Komen Columbus and United Appeal of Athens, Ohio.

The Ohio Association of Free Clinics advocates on behalf of Ohio’s free clinics and the people they serve. The OAFC does not provide direct health-care services on site, but supports the clinics that do.

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio. CARE LEADS HERE.

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Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
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Last updated: 01/28/2016