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SD's Community Health Centers: Providing Care for All

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CHAD logo
August 3, 2012

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. – Community Health Centers across South Dakota are celebrating National Health Center Week August 5-11. In South Dakota, just over 58,000 patients were served at 44 clinics in the last year. The theme of Health Center Week is "Powering Healthier Communities." Stacie Fredenburg with the Community Health Care Association of the Dakotas says these clinics provide service to people who might not otherwise be able to get it.

"Well, Community Health Centers are there to provide access to health care in areas that really need it. They have provider shortages, or if there are patients who have financial or insurance coverage issues, that's why we're there. And so, we're celebrating the ability to give access to everyone who needs it - high-quality care to keep them healthy."

Federal grant money has been awarded to health centers around the country to expand their facilities. Fredenburg says several in South Dakota are growing to meet the increased demand for services.

"There's a clinic in DeSmet building a new facility that will allow them to see more patients and update to improve their services. Rapid City is building a new facility. And Sioux Falls, they have a new school-based clinic going to be built, that will be attached with Hayward Elementary."

Community Health Centers can be full-service providers, says Fredenburg, and they offer services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

"Because we offer a sliding-fee scale and we're affordable, we have high-quality care. We have providers who care, and want to make sure that all your health care needs are met; that's why we offer so many services in one location."

She adds 26 percent of their patients have private insurance, about 37 percent have no health insurance..and 28 percent are on Medicaid.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD