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Community Health Centers Celebrated

August 12, 2013

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - This is "National Health Center Week," a time for community health centers across the state to highlight the services they provide and reach out to the communities they serve. According to Linda Ross, CEO of the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas, they want people to know more about the services they provide.

"They're affordable, the quality is good, as good as you might find in private practices, so they do provide convenient, patient-centered, medical home-type environments for anyone," Ross declared.

Ross said that under the Affordable Care Act, community health centers will become even more important in health care and wellness.

"I think there will be more people who will utilize those services in an insured way, certainly, and there are folks who utilize them now in perhaps a discounted way, sliding fee scale, things like that," she said. "But I do think that we will see more folks utilizing the community health center system."

Ross said community health centers are focused mostly on areas of South Dakota that don't have a lot of health care options.

"They are typically in areas that would be medically underserved, which means that there are not as many health care providers in the area for folks to choose from, which is why you will see them in rural areas." That, she said, is "because there needs to be a place for people to go for care, so a community health care center is an affordable and quality alternative."

Events set for the week include the grand opening of a new clinic in De Smet, health fairs and screenings, a coloring contest and employee picnics.



Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD