By Colin Foster
TROY — Health Partners Free Clinic is in the business of providing assistance to anybody who needs it in Miami County.
“We want to say ‘yes’ as many times in a day as we can,” said Justin Coby, executive director of Health Partners Free Clinic.
The recent addition of a new nurse practitioner and the continuing help from part-time staff and volunteers has allowed the clinic to increase volume this year. Health Partners — which is dedicated to increasing the availability of health care for the uninsured and under-insured in Miami County by providing a place for all ages — launched extra hours on Monday’s starting on Nov. 4 of last year, when JoAnn Barhorst became the first full-time certified nurse practitioner in the clinic’s 15-year history.
“It’s got to the point now where we sometimes see more patients on that Monday night than our staple Thursday night,” Coby said. “That means a lot to us; it says we’re moving in the right direction.”
According to Coby, the addition of Monday hours has set Health Partners on a path to possibly triple its numbers from last year. Coby said they are currently 115-120 percent above where they were last year at this point.
“That kind of indicates where we’re going,” Coby said.
On an average day, the clinic sees about 18 patients. Coby said Health Partners couldn’t do what it does without the help of volunteers and the rest of the staff. He said the clinic gets help from 25 volunteers a week. The addition of Barhorst has been something that has opened the door to getting more people in the clinic, as well.
“JoAnn is very adamant that she wants as many patients as she can see in a day. She doesn’t want any wasted time; she knows how important our mission is here,” Coby said.
Health Partners Free Clinic, 1300 N. County Road 25-A, also now has an Affordable Care Act marketplace navigator at their facility to assist the clinic’s patients with getting enrolled in Obamacare.
Stephanie Morris, the certified marketplace navigator, will continue offering assistance to clients of the free clinic to enroll in the nationwide health care program through the summer. People can schedule an appointment with Morris by calling her at (937) 332-0894, extension Ext. 207.
For more information on Health Partners Free Clinic and its hours of operation, visit healthpartnersclinic.org.
“The more awareness we can build about that, the better … especially to far-reaching parts of the county,” Coby said. “I don’t think a lot of folks realize that we serve the entire Miami County. West Milton over to Covington — if you can get here, you’ll get service.”
— Colin Foster may be reached at 937-440-5208 or followed on Twitter @colinfosterbg or @Troydailynews