Erie in the News
Erie Family Health Center Receives Federal Grant To Build Community Health Center In City Of Evanston
Grant will expand access to affordable health care for patients in surrounding suburbs
CHICAGO – June 21, 2012 – Erie Family Health Center, a provider of high quality health services to underserved communities, received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build a new health center in Evanston, Ill. The grant is made possible through the Affordable Care Act and will provide funds to support primary health care services at this new site.
“We know there is a need for affordable health care options in Evanston and Skokie and we want to reduce the health disparities in these and the surrounding communities,” said Dr. Lee Francis, President and CEO, Erie Family Health Center. “We are thrilled to be able to make a positive impact on the community and extend health care to more patients.”
The grant will establish the first community health center serving the northern suburbs of Evanston and Skokie. It will be named Erie Evanston Health Center and the first phase of the operation will open in the fall. Erie Evanston Health Center will provide primary medical care for patients, including prenatal care, pediatrics, women’s health and adult medicine, as well as chronic disease management, dental care and behavioral health services. In addition, Erie offers access to an expanded network of locations providing services such as optometry and podiatry. Once the site is at full capacity, Erie estimates the new center will provide care for more than 5,500 patients through more than 18,500 annual patient visits.
The City of Evanston experienced a reduction in the availability of primary health care services in recent years due to costs. In 2007, after more than 100 years of operation, the Evanston Health Department eliminated all direct medical services except pediatric dentistry. The Skokie Health Department provides limited services, such as blood pressure screenings, and refers low-income patients to Chicago for care. As a result, many area residents have been without access to needed primary health care services. To address the unmet health needs, the City of Evanston partnered with Erie Family Health Center to develop a plan for a new health center.
“This is a great day for the City of Evanston. This health center will be the catalyst for improving the health and wellness of Evanston residents,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “This grant will allow us to improve people’s lives. The Erie Evanston Health Center will transform the health and wellness for every person who walks through its doors.”
Erie prides itself on providing culturally sensitive health care to more than 37,000 patients every year at 11 centers on Chicago’s West and Northwest sides. Erie Evanston Health Center will be Erie’s second expansion outside Chicago. Recently, Erie announced it will build a new health care center in Waukegan in 2014. Like Erie’s other health care centers, Erie Evanston Health Center will be a portal to care and a higher quality of life for community residents, regardless of their ability to pay.
About Erie Family Health Center
Founded in 1957, Erie Family Health Center’s mission is to provide accessible, affordable, high quality health care to those in need. Erie provides primary care medical services including: pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, women’s health and podiatry to approximately 37,500 low-income Chicagoans each year at 11 health center locations. Erie also provides HIV/AIDS care, behavioral health counseling, case management services, health education, oral health services, and eye care.
Wendi Koziol, PCI