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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Manager Ian Broad-White, center, poses with, from left, Dr. Doris M. Williams; Paulina Washington, nurse practitioner; Junika Guy, licensed practical nurse; DeYonna Jefferson, administration; and Shawn Coil, registered nurse, inside Park Center's new clinic in Lafayette Medical Center.

Thursday, July 26, 2018 1:00 am

Park Center opens 'one-stop shop'

Hopes to help underserved at Lafayette clinic



A previous online version of this article misstated the clinic's location, which is in the 46806 ZIP code.

Ian Broad-White likes to think of a place where residents can meet with a primary care doctor, enroll in programs to end addictions and be educated on medical issues impacting the community, all under one roof.

That place will come to life today when Park Center holds an open house from 2 to 6 p.m. at its new clinic at the Lafayette Medical Center, 2700 S. Lafayette St. Community members will be able to meet the staff and visit various resource tables.

Park Center will have three programs on the ground floor, including the primary care clinic, Three Wishes and a homeless outreach program.

Park Center shares the building with the IUFW Lafayette Street Family Health Clinic and Dr. Benny Fair, a podiatrist. The ground floor has been occupied by various medical services in the past, including Community Home Health, Community Care Pharmacy and Dr. Alfred Stovall.

The clinic plans to focus on integrated care, including mental health care. The approach keeps patients from having to go to several different clinics for different needs.

“I kind of describe it as a 'one-stop shop,'” practice manager Broad-White said. “We're trying to get everything under this roof.”

The clinic in the 46806 ZIP code, which Broad-White said is medically underserved. While there are two health clinics nearby, neither provide significant behavioral health services, and the community is a federally designated health professional shortage area.

“Given these demographics, it is clear there is a compelling need to provide health services, health promotion, and outreach to people in this area, reducing the barriers to their care,” Broad-White said.

According to research done by the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, from 2011 to 2016, the 46806 area had more than 25,000 residents and 37.9 percent were under the federal poverty level.

The area was 70.6 percent non-white and has a poverty rate between 20 percent and 40 percent.

“It's difficult to know about something if you're not educated. It's difficult to act on it if you can't get a resource, whether it be a clinic or another type of agency or resource,” Broad-White said.

Between 2012 and 2016, the 46806 area also had an infant mortality rate of 15.8 per 1,000 live births, and the black infant mortality rate was 24.0, according to the Indiana Department of Health.

Park Center hopes to have a positive impact on this number and believes its integrated care approach can help solve the issue, whether it be through services to women or through education.

Various foundations have supported the clinic financially, including The Lutheran Foundation, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and AWS.

Broad-White said Park Center is open to collaborative efforts.

“It shows we're not the only ones that have this vision,” Broad-White said. “They're supporting our vision in coming into this community and really providing these services in the way that we want to do, in that integrated care approach.”

The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation contributed $32,742 to Park Center.

Executive Director Meg Distler said the foundation wants to help sustain the services.

“We're happy with the clinic's mission to integrate mental and physical health to address needs,” Distler said. “They have an excellent strategy.”

So far, AWS has contributed $74,465. The money helps fund the Three Wishes program, which serves youth. Three Wishes provides diagnostic testing in infants and children to help identify developmental problems.

“For a child with a disability, the sooner there is a diagnosis or identification of delay, the quicker there can be intervention,” said Patti Hayes, CEO of AWS.

Park Center also received a $500,000 grant from The Lutheran Foundation.

The new clinic can service already established Park Center patients and is able to take patients who want to come to the clinic solely for primary care.

In addition to the new clinic, Park Center has locations in Bluffton, Decatur and two other clinics in Fort Wayne.

Park Center is currently raising money to purchase the Lafayette Medical Center. It needs to raise about $2.2 million to purchase and renovate the building and currently has $600,000 in pledges.

President and CEO Paul Wilson said he hopes to purchase the building by the end of the year.