The nonprofit Health Ministries Clinic, 209 S. Pine St., Newton, has expanded its services to include mental health services in addition to medical and dental services.
Health Ministries served 6,000 patients in 2011, including 250 from Marion County.
According to Linda Ogden, director of Families and Communities Together, for many, Health Ministries is the only low-cost dental service available to adults. In addition, Health Ministries provides medical care for Marion County residents who otherwise would not have any way of obtaining or paying for those services.
Jessie Kaye, CEO of Prairie View, gave a report on the expanded services Friday at the Marion County Interagency meeting in Marion.
She said the changes at Health Ministries Clinic reflect the trend in health care toward holistic, integrated services that address the whole person, as espoused by the National Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in 2009.
She said one provider would be an individual’s “health home” where they receive care for every aspect of their health. She noted that people with mental health needs often might not take care of themselves properly and need primary care to help them live a longer life.
Kaye said integrating health services would help bring down costs. It also could lead to providing assistance with housing and employment needs.
Employment of two mental health providers two months ago was made possible by a 3-year $200,000 Sunflower grant through Prairie View Mental Health Services.
They work together with physician Ben Davis, pediatrician Lynne Fruechting, RNP Miranda Brown, and dentist Adam Lukens.
Kaye said Prairie View and Health Ministries Clinic have a lot in common including a faith-based foundation.
“Together we found that strategic alliance,” she said.
The two organizations have been working more closely together for almost a year. Prairie View has 400-450 employees. Health Ministries is much smaller, with 18-20 staff members.
Kaye said Prairie View shares management services with Health Ministries. It also is providing an interim executive director for Health Ministries until a new director can by hired.
At least 40 of the 250 Marion County residents who visited the clinic last year used dental services, 52 percent were without health insurance, 15 percent were on Medicaid, and 13 percent had insurance.
Prairie View hopes to expand its services in Hillsboro to include medical services. The new Prairie View office in Hillsboro is in the former medical clinic at 508 S. Ash St.