Photo Video

Neighborhood Health Care: Cincinnati Health Department questions why centers are closing

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
NHC closings to leave 4K patients with no doctor
Feds offer funding to keep health centers open

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Health Department wants to know why a local health services agency is suddenly closing after 40 years, forcing the city to scramble to help thousands of patients losing services.

Assistant city health commissioner Joyce Tate told WCPO she is very concerned about the mysterious circumstances around the shutdown of Neighborhood Health Care, Inc.

“It's been a key staple within the community, so it's going to be a huge loss," Tate said.

The big question is:

Did Neighborhood Health Care even reapply for a $1.4 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to stay open in 2014?

The local agency announced on Dec. 19 that HRSA did not approve its funding application for 2014.

That’s not exactly correct, a spokesperson for the federal agency told WCPO.

Neighborhood Health Care did not submit an “eligible application," HRSA’s Martin Kramer said.

Neighborhood Health Care was eligible to reapply, Kramer said, but he declined to elaborate.

“That would be an enormous disappointment because we were all under the impression that the grant was submitted,” Tate said.

“In fact, many of us wrote letters of support for that grant."

Tate said the federal money could have gone to another city clinic if Neighborhood Health Care didn’t want it.

What’s more, NHC did not accept the federal agency’s offer of a $400,000 extension that would have kept it open through April. That would have enabled patients to maintain their services while looking for a new provider.

Tate said she has worked with Neighborhood Health Care for years and was told that it did apply for the grant. If so, she's very interested to find out why the local agency didn't get it.

"The surprising thing is that they didn’t get it.  None of us really know why right now. We certainly would like to know, but we also know they've struggled over the last couple of years and that’s a possibility that that was part of the equation," Tate said.

In its Dec. 19 statement, Neighborhood Health Care acknowledged it had “struggled in recent years with operational infrastructure and rightsizing.”

"if they didn't submit the grant, then we know why they didn’t get it, but if they did submit the grant and they did not get the grant, I’m sure they will get some type of official feedback," Tate said.

NHC serviced uninsured families through centers in Walnut Hills/Evanston, Norwood, Harrison and Downtown, along with school-based programs at Rockdale Academy, South Avondale, and Hughes Center.

All are due to close Tuesday.

NHC said it serviced 4,000 patient visits per month.

WCPO left messages for board members from Neighborhood Health Care but no one has responded.

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
Police: Missing teen may be with Milford man
Police: Missing teen may be with Milford man

Police believe a 28-year-old man from the Milford area may have information about the whereabouts of a missing southwest Ohio teenager.

Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2
Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2

Homer Bailey pitched six scoreless innings at friendly Wrigley Field for his first win of the season and Jay Bruce homered and…

One death saves six lives, creates family bonds
One death saves six lives, creates family bonds

A liver. For him. Finally. A groggy Don Van Zant glanced at the clock when he picked up the phone Oct. 10, 2012. His life was saved as others…

Driver in Evendale high-speed chase identified
Driver in Evendale high-speed chase identified

What started out as a traffic stop turned into a serious crash that closed a part of Glendale-Milford Road early Sunday morning.

Police ID man found shot to death in Avondale
Police ID man found shot to death in Avondale

Cincinnati police released the identity of the man they found shot to death in the 3100 block of Reading Road Sunday.

Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'
Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'

At the helm of his namesake eatery Jimmy G's, Gibson entered his profession for the love of food and found a foodie following in the Tri-State.

Crews continue search for clues in Markham case
Crews continue search for clues in Markham case

Searchers once again combed through a tree-covered creek bed in eastern Indiana on Saturday trying to find the clues they need to answer the…

10 types of beards you'll see in the Tri-State
10 types of beards you'll see in the Tri-State

Is it just us, or are beards (and other forms of facial hair) making a comeback in the Tri-State? WCPO decided to explore the issue.…

LifeSpring Christian: 3 churches, one mission
LifeSpring Christian: 3 churches, one mission

In this week's "Where We Pray," learn about a local church that combines the mission and resources of a large congregation with…

Cincy kids author turns science into adventure
Cincy kids author turns science into adventure

Many a parent and teacher have tried to bring science alive for children. Writer Mary Kay Carson aims to bring lessons to life by injecting…