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Safety net clinics get more funds

Washington County Department of Health & Human Services is collaborating with local health care providers as part of its plan to increase access to primary care and preventive services for Washington County residents. The county will stop providing limited, clinical services and instead fund safety net clinics to provide services for uninsured Washington County residents.

The county is in the final stages of contract negotiations to award the following funds for fiscal year 2015-16:

n National College of Natural Medicine and Neighborhood Health Center will each receive $193,000 ($168,000 to provide primary care, $25,000 for preventive services for 1,500 uninsured patients).

n Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center and SW Community Health Center will each receive $48,500 to provide primary care for 500 uninsured patients.

Neighborhood Health Center will also receive $322,385 in federal Title X funds, which will be used to provide family planning services. The county anticipates that an additional 3,500-4,000 un- and underinsured patients will receive services.

To prevent gaps in family planning services while Neighborhood Health Center increases its capacity, Washington County’s Hillsboro Clinic at 266 W. Main Street will open for limited services on Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting July 6. Immunizations will be available during afternoon appointments on those days as well.

Currently the Hillsboro Clinic is closed, and the Beaverton clinic’s last appointments will be on June 25.

In February, the Board of Commissioners approved HHS Director Marni Kuyl’s proposal to close the two health clinics and instead fund other providers. These changes will result in more people having access to both primary and preventive health care.

Washington County’s clinics have never provided primary care. They have offered limited preventive services including immunizations, family planning and STD treatment.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 503-846-8851.

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