Health Center on Track to Open in Fall

Perhaps you have noticed a new building going up on the corner of Cougar Street and Weed Avenue and are wondering what it will be and when it will be open. This will be the new home of the Vernonia Health Center.  The Vernonia Health Board is very excited to see the progress and hope you share their enthusiasm. The building is scheduled for completion by fall of this year. Operations will be moved from the current location on Bridge Street which will then be demolished.

Through very generous donations the Health Board was able to fully fund the construction of the new facility. The Health Board is very grateful for support from Meyer Memorial Trust, the Ford Family Foundation, Collins Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Samuel S. Johnson Foundation, funds from Providence, their FEMA buyout, and many donations from community members to the Carolyn Keasey Memorial Fund.

The new clinic will be larger than the current clinic and the Health Board has been working hard to develop a “medical home” model where several services will be offered.  Primary care, provided in partnership with The Public Health Foundation of Columbia County and Pacific University, will continue. The Health Board is planning to add mental and behavioral health and physical therapy in the near future and are exploring other support services that will benefit their patients and community.

The Health Board is happy to see how many patients are returning to the clinic as patients under the primary care provider, Albert Rodriguez. They look forward to more area residents becoming patients with their convenient location and expanded services. Additionally, the partnership with Public Health allows a seamless transition for students seen at the student based health center, Spencer Health and Wellness, to also be seen at the Vernonia Health Center.

The clinic accepts the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid), Medicare, and a majority of private insurance. Refer to http://vernoniahealthcenter.wix.com/vernoniahealthcenter under Service – Health Plans. If the clinic does not currently accept your insurance, let them know.  They will gladly contact your carrier to remedy that. For those without insurance, the clinic have staff on site to walk you through the health care application process and they have a sliding fee scale for eligible patients waiting for approval.

If you have Oregon Health Plan, you may have been assigned to primary care in St. Helens or elsewhere. You may call the customer service number on the back of your ID card and request to be assigned to the Vernonia Health Center.

Please be on the look out for more information on the grand opening as fall approaches!