Erlanger Affiliate Celebrates National Health Centers Week

Friday, August 8, 2014

Erlanger Health System affiliate, Dodson Avenue Community Health Center is hosting a special event  11, noon until 2 p.m., to commemorate National Health Centers Week. 

To kickoff the week, Erlanger representatives, along with local elected officials, will present a proclamation and a special recognition to the health center’s oldest patient.  The will also recognize Dr. James Wheeler for providing more than 30 years of dental care services to patients at the health center.  

The week’s events also include Patient Appreciation Day on Thursday, August 14, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., at both Southside andDodson Avenue Community Health Centers.  Free health information will be available to patients and refreshments provided by the staff.  

This year’s theme, “Local Engines for Healthier Communities,” highlights almost 50 years of recorded history and growth of health centers in comprehensive, high-quality preventive and primary health care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.  According to National Health Centers, health centers serve as the medical and healthcare home for over 22 million people nationally.  Nearly all patients are low income with 72% of health center patients having family incomes at or below poverty.  

The Southside and Dodson Avenue Community Health Centers’ focus for over 45 years is to provide primary and preventive medical care for people of all ages, including prenatal and OB/GYN services.  The centers also offer educational information on nutrition, exercise programs, diabetes, hypertension and how to stop smoking.  These services are a part of the centers' approach to providing high-quality clinical care regardless of the patients’ ability to pay and a reflection of their service to the community.  

In 2008, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger opened a new Urgent Care Center staffed with pediatric physicians to provide non-emergent medical needs during afterhours to Erlanger’s smallest patients.  In addition to treating the patients, the staff educates families about their primary care options.  While the children may have medical coverage, it is their family members who may not.  Through the work in enrolling the community and implementing the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Hospital staff also provide information on adult health coverage options.  

Through both the adult health centers and Children’s Urgent Care Center, the centers’ affiliation agreement with University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga has also enabled Erlanger to offer all patients access to a full range of physicians for specialized care.  The partnership with the community and a hospital system such as Erlanger is a truly unique opportunity to serve residents not only in the city limits but also patients from the region and surrounding states.  

Erlanger Health System wishes to thank all of the staff for their commitment to exceptional patient care. For more information on the events or health services, contact the Southside Community Health Center100 East 37th Street, at 778-2700 or Dodson Avenue Community Health Center1200 Dodson Avenue, at 778-2800.  Children’s Hospital Urgent Care is located on the lower level of Children’s Hospital on Blackford Street and is open seven days a week from 6 p.m. until midnight.  For more information, on pediatric services, call 778-6011.

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