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RHD's East Side Health Center, providing health care to underserved, celebrates Grand Opening in York, Pa.

04/16/2012 10:52:01 AM
Contact: Kevin Roberts, RHD Communications
215-951-0300 (ext. 3714), kevinr@rhd.org
Sharon Chatman, Director, East Side Health Center
717-801-0971 (ext. 4000), schatman@fpcn.com

Providing health care to underserved areas, the Family Practice and Counseling Network is opening the East Side Health Center, a new community health center in York, with a Grand Opening April 26. The East Side Health Center will provide primary care and behavioral health services to all who come, including those who are uninsured and underinsured.  The health center’s staff is committed to providing quality, compassionate health care to people of all ages, treating illness and promoting long-term health regardless of ability to pay.

The expansion is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration through the Affordable Care Act, the agency for improving access to health care services through community health centers across the country. Community health centers work to provide primary health care for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.  

“We’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” said Donna Torrisi, Executive Director of the Family Practice and Counseling Network. “With this new health center, we look forward to engaging with the individuals and agencies in this community and reaching more people with our services.”  

The East Side Health Center’s Grand Opening will be April 26 from 10:30 am-2 pm at 850 East Princess Street. Ribbon cutting and remarks at 11am. York Mayor C. Kim Bracey and Joanne Grossi, Region III director, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services are scheduled to appear. All are welcome to attend.

Family Practice and Counseling Network is a program of Resources for Human Development, a national human services nonprofit with headquarters in Philadelphia. The Network currently runs four health center sites in the Philadelphia area.

RHD opened its first community health center in 1992 as a single, nurse-managed health clinic. Under Torrisi’s guidance it has become one of the largest nurse-managed health centers in the region, providing the full range of primary care, dental and behavioral health services. Last year the Network served more than 65,000 patient visits.

Family Practice and Counseling Network was approached in 2010 by the Emmanuel Community Development Corporation (ECDC) to develop a nurse-managed health center to serve public housing residents in a disadvantaged and underserved area. The ECDC and the Network received encouragement from the York Bureau of Health and Mayor’s Office, the York Housing Authority and York College School of Nursing. The East Side Health Center is located on 850 East Princess Street, one block from one York Housing Authority community and five blocks from another.

“Our Family Practice and Counseling Network has always been a leader in providing comprehensive primary care to the uninsured and underinsured,” said RHD CEO Bob Fishman. “We’re very proud of the work they do, and we’re honored that the HHS recognized Donna Torrisi and her staff’s commitment to providing the best health care services to her patients.”

As community-based organizations, health centers are well positioned to be responsive to the specific health care needs of their community, providing comprehensive primary and preventive health care services. By maximizing the availability, access and continuity of primary care services, these sites play a critical role in improving the health care status of medically underserved and vulnerable populations and decreasing health disparities throughout the United States.

FPCN has won the “Models That Work” award from the Health Resources and Service Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the SmithKline Beecham Community Impact Award. Torrisi, the author of “Nurse-Managed Health Centers: Getting Them Started and Keeping Them Going,” has received the Villanova University Leadership in Nursing Award, the University of Pennsylvania Lillian Brunner Sholstis Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice, the Pennsylvania Nurses Association Leadership Award for Innovative Practice, and the National Alliance for Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing Practitioner of the Year Award.