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Health centers to care for the uninsured, underinsured

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 10:51 a.m. CDT

Federal funding will allow Greater Elgin Family Care Center to take over KishHealth System’s Center for Family Health in Sycamore and to operate the county’s first federally-qualified health centers (FQHC).

The Greater Elgin Family Care Center, or GEFCC, will operate FQHC sites in Sycamore and DeKalb. Both are projected to open this winter. FQHCs provide primary health care and other services to people who are uninsured and/or publicly insured.

Details have yet to be finalized, but GEFCC will absorb the services KishHealth provides at the Center for Family Health and similar services offered by the DeKalb County Health Department at its Annie Glidden Road campus. Staff employed at the Center for Family Health are expected to continue working there after the transition, and patient care should be uninterrupted.

The announcement came last week, after more than a year of planning. GEFCC submitted its federal application in April, with the support of a number of DeKalb County health care, social service and human service organizations and other stakeholders.

“We are pleased that the expanded services brought to the area by the Greater Elgin Family Care Center will give our community members more coverage and greater access to care. We are thankful for the support of our KishHealth System and KishHealth System Center for Family Health boards of directors for their diligence throughout this process,” said Joseph Dant, vice president of business development for KishHealth Systems.

The Center for Family Health was formed in 2009 as the Community Cares Clinic, a unique collaboration between private donors, KishHealth System, and Northern Illinois University. The center’s goal is to provide primary care to a population that was uninsured, underinsured or enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare.

“We look forward to expanding high-quality, affordable health care services to the residents of DeKalb County,” said Bob Tanner, president and CEO of Greater Elgin Family Care Center. “Our partnership with KishHealth System and others throughout DeKalb County will increase access to primary health care services, reduce costs and improve the overall health of the county.”

GEFCC expects to offer pediatric and family medicine care initially, and later add obstetric/ gynecological services. Services will also be offered on-site at the health department.

More information about Greater Elgin Family Care Center and its pending operations in DeKalb County will be available at www.gefcc.org.

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