Photo Video
Prev
Neighborhood Health Centers to close Dec. 31 Neighborhood Health Care centers close doors Neighborhood health centers to close Dec. 31
Next

Neighborhood Health Care patients get letter confirming centers will close on Dec. 31

Feds: Offer to keep centers open 'til April stands

a a a a
Share this story

CINCINNATI - In mid-December, saying it had lost federal funding, Neighborhood Health Care (NHC) centers announced it would have to close, shuttering its centers in Walnut Hills/Evanston, Norwood, Harrison and Downtown, along with school-based health center programs at Rockdale Academy, South Avondale, and Hughes Center.

On Dec. 26, people who use the NHC centers received letters confirming the closure, effective Dec. 31. NHC says it services 4,000 patient visits per month.

One patient of the Walnut Hills location can't believe it will soon close its doors. Regina Coleman has been going to that clinic since she was a baby.

"I'm sad because I am so used to going there," Coleman told WCPO reporter Natasha Williams.

Nurse Michelle Bauman received a letter about the closings on Dec. 18. She was shocked to learn she would soon be out of work, and so soon after the holidays.

"Kinda hurts," Bauman said. "I spent all my money on Christmas knowing I have a job and I would have my next paycheck to pay the bills. Now I don't have a next paycheck."

The decision to shut down the local centers sent Coleman on the hunt for a new provider, and Bauman on the hunt for work.

"I gotta find one now," Coleman said. "It's gonna be a little hard, but I got to do what I got to do."

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) earlier offered to extend funding for Neighborhood Health Care, Inc., HRSA director of communications, Martin Kramer, told WCPO.

Also on Dec. 26, Kramer confirmed that the funding extension offer still stands, to the tune of more than $440,000--enough to keep the centers operating until April.

“The key goal for our program is to continue services to the community,” Kramer said. The extension period would also allow patients to transition to new health care providers, he said.

Calls to NHC were not returned. Kramer said he could not say why or even if NHC had been rejected for 2014 funding.

He said NHC remains eligible to apply for HRSA funding in 2014, but HRSA has received “no eligible applications for the service area.”

In a statement, NHC said it found out Dec. 17 that HRSA decided not to approve the 2014 Service Area Competition (SAC) grant for NHC.

“We are saddened by this turn of events,” NHC said in its statement.

NHC acknowledged it had “struggled in recent years with operational infrastructure and rightsizing.”

The NHC statement thanked Interact for Health and HealthPoint Board of Directors “for providing financial aid and leadership support this year in the development of a sustainable 2014 operating plan. However, sustainability is not achievable without the federal funding for a new period to begin January 1, 2014.”

Interact for Health, formerly The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, says it awards grants to support health promotion programs and works through education, advocacy and action to improve the quality of life for people in 20 counties. HealthPoint is a health-care provider in Northern Kentucky.

HRSA's website says it is "the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable." That includes people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers, and children, it says.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Local News
Man accused of stealing 19 A/C units
Man accused of stealing 19 A/C units

A Cincinnati man is accused of causing about $100,000 in damage when police said he stole 19 air conditioning units.

The Eagle serves hominy as a bar snack. Really.
The Eagle serves hominy as a bar snack. Really.

In this week's "wine me, dine me pick of the week:" Julie Niesen Gosdin bellies up to the bar and digs into "eminently…

TriHealth to expand Bethesda Butler Hospital
TriHealth to expand Bethesda Butler Hospital

A multi-million dollar expansion this spring at a Butler County hospital will bring with it increased health care options for patients and…

Residents want New Miami mayor to resign
Residents want New Miami mayor to resign

The New Miami police chief is on paid administrative leave after the village's mayor filed charges to remove him from office and local…

Batter Up! Health, safety at a diamond near you
Batter Up! Health, safety at a diamond near you

In this week's "Ask the Nurse," spring means bats are swinging, balls are flying, and players of all ages are sliding into…

FDA may back off on new craft beer regulations
FDA may back off on new craft beer regulations

The FDA may be backing off from proposed changes that would have affected brewers and farmers across the nation.

Reds put worst start in two decades behind them
Reds put worst start in two decades behind them

Although the Reds are three games under .500, Cincinnati's season is just getting started.

MAP: Find a fish fry near you
MAP: Find a fish fry near you

The Lenten season has begun and we've compiled a list of the most popular fish fry locations in the Tri-State 

HalfCut: New craft beer café opens in OTR
HalfCut: New craft beer café opens in OTR

Starting Friday, craft beer aficionados will have a new spot in Over-the-Rhine to call home.

Scariest ride may be getting to Kings Island
Scariest ride may be getting to Kings Island

The intersection that feeds thrill seekers into Kings Island is among top crash sites in the county, a WCPO analysis found.