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North Country Family Health Center opens Lowville site

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LOWVILLE — The North Country Family Health Center now offers medical, dental and behavioral health services at its Lewis County General Hospital site.

Executive Director Joey Marie Horton said the 7785 N. State St. site, which is co-located with the nonprofit’s office for the Women, Infants and Children federal supplemental feeding program, will be open on a limited basis, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

A celebratory opening will take place at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 16 in the clinic, which is in the rear wing of the hospital.

“The family health center in Lowville was part of our plan to become a federally qualified health center,” Mrs. Horton said. “We wanted to make sure we were completing that part of our grant.”

The agency, formerly known as the North Country Children’s Clinic, received the FQHC designation in 2012. That has come with financial support from the federal government and other benefits, including, expansion of services and participation in the federal 340B program, which offers vaccines and certain other supplies at a discounted rate.

North Country Family Health Center soon will partner with a pharmacy in Lowville for that program. Staff at its Watertown site is receiving training on the program, which includes a partnership with two Kinney Drugs pharmacies in Watertown.

Meanwhile, physician assistant Dorrie Lisle will staff the family health center here, and also work one day per week at the main health center, 238 Arsenal St., Watertown. Family practice physician John W. Jepma is the supervising physician of the Lowville site.

Services include general primary care, referrals to diagnostic laboratory and X-ray services, screenings, immunizations, well-child exams, basic gynecological services, voluntary family planning, referrals to substance abuse services, assistance to people experiencing housing instability or homelessness, assistance with health insurance and eligibility, behavioral health services and referrals to preventive and restorative dental health services at the Watertown site.

Both children and adults will be seen at the Lowville site for any of the aforementioned services, regardless of their insurance status.

A sliding fee payment scale is available, and the center accepts people with Medicaid and other health insurance plans.

“There is a need for additional primary care providers in Lewis County, and with Lowville being in the center there’s a need there too,” Mrs. Horton said.

As the patient base grows at the Lowville site, more providers will be available and hours of operation expanded, she said. Minimal renovations were required for the Lowville site, which includes four exam rooms and a waiting/reception area.

Mrs. Horton said a $40,000 member item secured by Assemblywoman Addie J. Russel, D-Theresa, covered startup expenses.

For more information, call 376-4500 or visit www. nocofamilyhealth.org.

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