EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSEbenezer Medical Outreach Offers Services To More Patients
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported: May. 27, 2014 4:21 PM EDT
Updated: May. 27, 2014 5:26 PM EDT
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Darrah Wilcox) --The implementation of the Affordable Care Act means changes for a free health clinic in Huntington.
Ebenezer Medical Outreach has served patients throughout the Tri-State for nearly three decades, but it recently changed the way it does business.
The clinic's mission is to provide access to comprehensive health care, preventative care and pharmaceuticals to those who need it in the Fairfield West area of Huntington and its surrounding areas.
"You don't have to worry about trying to catch the bus or trying to catch a cab or getting a friend or relative to take you to the doctor," Executive Director Yvonne Jones said. "You can just walk here, and I think that's very important."
The clinic serves about 1,700 patients a year, but those numbers dramatically declined with the implementation of the health care marketplace and the expansion of Medicaid.
"Many of our people, and we're very thankful for, were able to get medical cards or some form of insurance through their employer," Jones said.
Now, the outreach center also can serve people with insurance.
"That's really been a very good thing because now people don't have to worry about how they're going to pay for health care," Jones said.
The clinic has a staff of doctors and nurse practitioners in the old Douglass High School in the Fairfield area.
"Anything that needs to be taken care of at any doctor's office can be taken care of here," Jones said.
Patient Jack Canapp said he has had "problems with my knees, my ankles swelling up. Sometimes I just couldn't walk."
Canapp said those recurring health issues have racked up some significant doctors' bills.
"I'd say about $5,000 so far," he said.
Fortunately for him, he was able to get a medical card with the recent expansion of Medicaid services and the Affordable Health Care Act. and has been seeking treatment at Ebenezer Medical Outreach in Huntington.
"When I got here, they didn't charge me anything, except for maybe $4 for the medication they were giving me," Canapp said.
It's something for which Canapp is extremely grateful.
"The people are nice. Doctors are nice," he said.
The outreach center also will soon have a dental hygienist to provide dental care, something Jones said is a critical need for the area.
"People don't realize the correlation between poor dental health and poor physical health, so we're just really excited about the opportunity to be able to provide that for our patients," she said.
You can find out more here or by calling 304-529-0753.
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