Family Health Center expands services

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COLUMBIA — After receiving its fifth federal grant since June, the Family Health Center of Boone County is looking to improve services and expand its outreach. 

Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services awarded the center just over $67,000 to improve health information technology.

“The grants will allow us to continue the work that we’re currently doing, but will also allow us to remain on the cutting edge of services by remaining competitive in the health IT world,” Director of Strategic Initiatives Phillip Berger said.

The center was established in 1992 to help the medically under-served. It provides a discount to people who don’t have insurance and are of low income.

With locations in Columbia, Marceline and Salisbury, the center offers primary medical, dental, behavioral and mental health services.

“Without the services that we provide, without us making them financially and geographically accessible, the only other place to go is the emergency room,” Berger said.

Family Health Center works with five different community organizations throughout Boone County, including Heart of Missouri United Way.

Twenty-seven percent of United Way’s 2016-17 community investments are aimed toward health programs, with more than $60,000 going directly to Family Health Center.

The money helps fund a program that works with public schools to provide oral health education and screenings. United Way also refers children with dental needs directly to the center's dental clinic.

“This partnership is critical because it’s providing access to vital health care early on, so that all kids have a chance to get these services,” said United Way Community Impact Specialist Rebecca Dougherty.

Dougherty said there are often strict parameters with government grants, but United Way has the ability to be more flexible and make sure that all needs are met. 

“We exist to serve the whole community. It’s not just the low income, uninsured population that needs access to care,” Berger said.

More information on Family Health Center and its services can be found on the center’s website.