Family Health Center expanding

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is being called a life-saving groundbreaking.  On Friday, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), Metro Councilman David Tandy and the Family Health Centers (FHC) Board of Governors broke ground on the East Broadway Community Health Center, the largest expansion project in the 37-year history of the nonprofit agency.

"I've been attending the family health center for about 10-years," says Christina Hickey, FHC Patient.

Hickey believes the family health center may have saved her life a few years ago.

"They found some tumors on my stomach," says Hickey.  That's why she attended the ground breaking.

Friday morning, Yarmuth and Tandy both praised the expansion.  "This is a win win-win type of a project that we like to see.  Not only in the 4th Metro Council District but all across Jefferson County," says Tandy. 

You could also say it's a win-win because thousands more people in Metro Louisville will have access to a primary care physician as a result.

The $6 million renovation is supported through a $5 million federal grant, part of a series of capital investments made in community health centers through the Affordable Care Act.  The expanded health center will be located at 834 East Broadway, in a building that recently housed an antique mall.

Occupying the first three floors of the five-story building, the East Broadway Community Health Center will significantly expand FHC's current operation, from 8,400 square feet to more than 30,000 square feet.  The renovated site, which will offer primary care integrated with behavioral health services, as well as on-site radiology, dental and pharmacy services, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

"This expansion will provide access to primary care for, we hope, an additional 10-thousand patients who will gain health insurance coverage under the affordable care act," Bill Wagner, Family Health Center Executive Director.

Which means Christina Hickey will continue to get the care and coverage she needs.  She says, "I like the fact that if I don't qualify for anything, I can still attend the family health center and pay that sliding fee scale which will allow me to see a primary care physician when I need to."

Crews plan to work through the winter season to get the project done on time.

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