(Plain Press, May 2017) Neighborhood Family Practice hosted a grand opening celebration for its new Puritas Community Health Center at 14625 Puritas on April 10th. Residents of Bellaire Puritas joined with Neighborhood Family Practice staff and board members and political representatives from the city, county, state and federal government for the celebration. Youths from the Artemus Ward Elementary School’s Drum Line provided musical entertainment for guests at the celebration.
Neighborhood Family Practice Chief Executive Officer Jean Polster said that in 2014, Neighborhood Family Practice was one of five health centers in the nation to receive Affordable Care Act funding to open a new health center in an underserved neighborhood. The funding resulted in the opening of a Neighborhood Family Practice location in the Bellaire Puritas neighborhood. Polster said the first location was in a former beauty shop in Puritas Park Plaza.
The volume of patients was soon overwhelming the small office in Puritas Park Plaza. To remedy this, Neighborhood Family Practice applied for and received a Health Infrastructure Investment Program Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offset the cost of purchasing and renovating a larger facility. Polster says that with the funding, Neighborhood Family Practice could purchase and rehab an old TV repair shop to create a new 6,000 square foot facility at 14625 Puritas.
Polster praised the Affordable Care Act, passed during the Obama administration, as a signature part of bringing this health care center to the Bellaire Puritas Community. She said the neighborhood lacked health care options because many of the family doctors that were in the neighborhood had left.
Polster and Neighborhood Family Practice Board Chair Samuel Huston thanked a “host of partners” helped to assure that the Bellaire Puritas neighborhood would have a high-quality health care center. Elected officials were thanked for the support that Neighborhood Family Practice has received from federal, state and local government. Polster praised staff and board members that contributed to the planning for the new health care center.
Neighborhood Family Practice spokesperson Audra Bennett says the new renovated facility will have 12 patient care rooms (7 more than the location a Puritas Park Plaza). NFP will now offer women’s health and midwifery services at the Bellaire Puritas location as well as behavioral health services for established patients.
Elected officials and their representatives congratulated Neighborhood Family Practice on its new center, presented proclamations and shared some thoughts on its importance to the neighborhood. Those sharing remarks included: Ward 16 Councilman Brian Kazy, District 14 State Representative Martin Sweeney, District 9 Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, District 2 Cuyahoga County Representative Dale Miller, District 13 State Representative Nickie Antonio, City of Cleveland Health Commissioner Persis Sosiak, and District 23 State Senator Michael Skindell.
In her remarks, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur stressed the importance of the Affordable Care Act in funding health centers like Neighborhood Family Practice and making sure that citizens can get quality health care. Kaptur presented Neighborhood Family Practice with a flag that once flew over the nation’s capital.