Jonte Thomas, 3, watched with round eyes Wednesday afternoon as his grandmother Gaynelle Russell had her blood pressure checked by Marita Marquardt, an R.N. with Parkview Community Nursing.
But the room was so crowded with visitors that the trio ended up going to a quiet room to do another reading. Russell was one of 1,000 people at the Neighborhood Health Clinics and Parkview Health's open house, 3350 E. Paulding Road.
The new facility has been catering to an area underserved by health care providers through the Parkview Neighborhood Health Center and the Neighborhood Health Clinics since the beginning of March, said Mary Haupert, NHC president and CEO.
Haupert said Wednesday that so far the number of patients they have seen there has been slowly growing but they are hoping the open house will increase those numbers. The clinic occupies roughly 6,200 feet of a newly constructed building.
Haupert said the clinic is now open three days a week with a nurse practitioner, but starting July 23 they will have two part-time doctors there and will be open five days a week. A WIC nutrition site will open in October, with a dental clinic to follow in early January.
The Parkview Center for Healthy Living is up and running. The center occupies roughly 1,300 square feet of the building. Parkview owns the building and leases space to NHC. Parkview also donated about $200,000 in equipment and furnishings to the clinic.
Haupert said a grant from the Federal Government in November for helping people living in underserved areas helped make the partnership happen. She said they only had a very short period of time to use the money, but Parkview came through for them by getting the building built during a record-breaking brutally cold winter. The property that the building is on was purchased from the church next door.
“It's the perfect location,” Haupert said.
Wednesday afternoon Parkview chefs were in a large tent in the parking lot stocking a buffet line with food for the open house guests. Inside visitors toured the clinic and then stepped next door to a health fair on the Parkview side. Stations set up around the space provided basic health tests including blood pressure and bone density checks while in another area visitors were getting chair massages.
Services provided at the Parkview Center for Healthy Living will include education on safe sleep, diabetes, asthma, nutrition and CPR. Smoking cessation, exercise samplers and cooking demos will also be provided at this office, Parkview officials said.