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
Alcohol suspected in fatal crash with ODOT truck
Alcohol suspected in fatal crash with ODOT truck

One person is dead after their SUV rear-ended an Ohio Department of Transportation dump truck on I-71 early Wednesday and police say alcohol…

Westwood man charged in rape of 6-year-old
Westwood man charged in rape of 6-year-old

A Westwood man was arrested Monday and charged in the rape of a 6-year-old.

Campus sexual assault: NKU's prevention strategy
Campus sexual assault: NKU's prevention strategy

This time of year, high school seniors are deciding where to go to college. For many young women and their parents, the issue of campus…

Is your child's car seat installed correctly?
Is your child's car seat installed correctly?

Three out of four car seats are improperly installed in vehicles, according to AAA technicians.

State school board debates orientation rule
State school board debates orientation rule

A proposal to protect Ohio school teachers from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation is dividing the state school board.

MAY: Curing poverty starts with listening
MAY: Curing poverty starts with listening

Before we can help the Tri-State's thousands of poor mothers and their children, we will need to find common ground across our political…

Mayor Cranley: 'Help is on the way'
Mayor Cranley: 'Help is on the way'

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says he's making good on his promise to add more cops to the streets.

RNC team to visit Cincinnati late April
RNC team to visit Cincinnati late April

The two Ohio cities still in contention to host the 2016 Republican National Convention will be visited in late April by party staff or…

Tri-State briefs: April 16, 2014
Tri-State briefs: April 16, 2014

A wrap-up of local stories happening Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

Ex-Covington finance director to learn fate
Ex-Covington finance director to learn fate

Robert Due, former finance director of Covington is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22 at 1:30 p.m.