SOPHIA, W.Va., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- New River Health Association celebrated today an expansion of Gulf Family Practice that brings better access to primary care and pharmaceutical services, including low-cost prescription drugs, and health education to people in the Gulf area of Raleigh County. Federal funds helped equip the new facility with pharmacy software, phone systems, other pharmacy equipment, an education center and medical examination rooms.
"Building on the success of our frontline of defense for health care -- our community health centers, which serve one in five West Virginians -- is a smart, sound investment," U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said. "Having clinics closer to home means hectic families' schedules aren't as taxed to make that doctor's appointment, and sticking with preventive and wellness programs is easier. Adding services like the pharmacy makes health care more of a one-stop shop, and the federal funding making it possible puts people to work."
When renovations to the former post office building are finished beyond the pharmacy, it will have two additional examination rooms for practitioners, so Gulf Family Practice will be able to serve an additional 3,000 patients. The new facility will employ five health care professionals initially and provide a full array of primary care services. The pharmacy is a 340b pharmacy under Medicaid rules, which means it can provide prescription drugs at discounted prices for clinic patients.
"New River Health also is working with Access Health of Beckley to develop school-based clinics in Raleigh County schools, including one on the campus of Independence High School," Dave Sotak, chief executive officer of New River Health, said. "Currently, New River Health sees more than 4,000 patients in school-based sites in Fayette and Nicholas counties."
In addition, the new facility will include a health education area to help patients prevent illness and manage diseases, such as diabetes, heart conditions and asthma. It will be known as the Sally M. Susman Health Education Center in honor of Delegate Sally Susman, who has been an advocate for primary care and worked for years for the citizens of the Gulf area. At one time, she also published a newspaper, the Gulf Times, down the street from the clinic.
New River Health Association is a private, nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center that has been dedicated to providing the highest quality health care for more than 30 years. It employs more than 200 health care providers and support staff members.
New River Health operates clinics at Scarbro, Whipple, North Fayette, Beards Fork, the Lisa Elliott Center and Gulf Family Practice. It also operates several school-based clinics in Fayette and Nicholas counties. More information about New River Health is available online at: www.nrhawv.org.
SOURCE New River Health Association