Burlington, IND (WLFI) - National Health Center Week has clinics all over the nation promoting their services. Including clinics in White and Carroll counties.
Family Health Clinic in Burlington is crucial to people in the area.
“If it is someone that they just don’t feel well and they don’t want to drive all the way to Lafayette or Kokomo, they can come here and be serviced locally,” said Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator Barb Hickner.
The nearest Lafayette hospitals are more than 27 miles away, which is a good 45-minute drive. But this clinic is located in the basement of the local community center, right in the center of town.
Services range from pediatric to geriatric, including immunizations, a pharmacy, and lab services. Women can go there for prenatal care of gynecological services. Kids can go there to get vision screenings or sports physicals. They can even perform minor procedures according to Hickner.
Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) funds clinics nationwide, like the one in Burlington. Their purpose is to bring health care services to medically underserved areas.
Something Nurse Practitioner Amy Aeschliman can relate to.
“These are the people I grew up with, very much like my family,” she said.
Aeschliman is originally from Russiaville, Indiana. She worked in Indianapolis at Methodist and Eskenazi Health, formerly known as Wishard when she worked there.
“There was always that nagging to go home,” she said ‘home’ in air quotes. “To serve the people that are close to me and close to my heart.”
She said she has found a new, but very familiar home working in Burlington.
“It’s nice to be able to go to the gas station and see someone doing well that previously hadn’t,” she said.
However, it wasn’t always like that in this community. She said for some, it was more like a health rescue.
“It had been without services for a good three to five years,” she said. “So when we opened up, we had a lot of very ill patients.”
But she said she is finally seeing her patients get back on their feet in terms of their health. And now they can focus more on health promotions and keeping them at their best health.
A new statistics released by HRSA says that across the United States, one in five patients that its clinics serve live in a rural community. And one in three of its patients live in poverty.
But there is some good news that they found. Between 2001 and 2017, the number of patients served rose from 10.3 million to 27.2 million. That’s an increase of 17 million patients.
A big part of this is striving to make its healthcare affordable.
“If somebody walks in the door and we find out they don’t have insurance, they come and meet with me and we talk about the options they have,” said Hickner.
Their options range from getting insurance through the state or possibly through the marketplace, according to Hickner. She said they also help anyone who needs Medicare services.
These clinics are open in Wolcott, Delphi, and Monon. It is important that bring these health care services to the people who need them.
“We are part of the community we serve, we live in the community we serve, and we are engaged in this area,” said Hickner.
For more information about the HRSA, go to their website. For more information about Family Health Clinics, go to their website.