By Regina M. Mitchell, MHA, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, New Horizon Family Health Services, Inc.
This week, Community Health Centers across the country are celebrating National Health Center Week (NHCW) to increase awareness of the ways health centers, like New Horizon Family Health Services (NHFHS), improve the health of the communities we serve.
For more than 50 years, health centers have been the safety net for vulnerable populations by providing comprehensive primary and preventative health care to all people regardless of their insurance status. NHFHS has served the Upstate since 1992 and operates medical offices in Greenville, Greer and Travelers Rest, a dental office in Greenville, two mobile medical units and a mobile dental unit. Our mission is to provide quality, affordable, compassionate patient-centered health care to improve the health of the communities we serve. Each year, more than 28,000 individuals rely on our organization to access a variety of services including primary medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and laboratory services.
NHFHS’ Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) program serves over 2,600 patients experiencing homelessness each year in 13 counties using a 35-foot mobile medical unit at strategic collaborative partner agency locations. In 2019, NHFHS partnered with Miracle Hill Ministries to launch the first in-shelter Medical Respite Care Program in the state to provide individuals experiencing homelessness a safe place to recover after hospital discharge.
Our organization’s Ryan White Program provides services including primary and HIV specialty medical care, medical case management, prescription assistance, behavioral health counseling and HIV prevention services to over 1,200 individuals living with HIV/AIDS in 10 Upstate counties each year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many unexpected challenges to the communities we serve. Some families have lost loved ones to the virus. Others have experienced issues such as food insecurity, unemployment, lack of housing and loss of health insurance.
Our team has remained focused on ensuring that patients can access primary care, manage chronic conditions and fill prescriptions. NHFHS’ Clinical Counselors have helped a growing number of patients struggling with conditions including depression, anxiety and trauma during this time. Our Care Management Team has continued to connect patients with resources for basic needs such as food, housing and transportation.
Our organization has also played an important role in COVID-19 vaccine delivery. All NHFHS medical offices offer the vaccine to eligible individuals in our community. Call 864-729-8330, extension 1766 to make an appointment or simply walk in to our 975 W. Faris Road office in Greenville Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 3:30 pm – no appointment needed.
We have also worked hard to educate our patients and staff regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. If you still are hesitant to get the shot, I encourage you to speak with your primary care provider who can answer your questions.
While the future of the pandemic remains unknown, we do know one thing for certain. The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best tools we have to fight the virus and keep our communities healthy. Don’t wait to get vaccinated. As COVID-19 cases rise, I urge you to be part of the solution and protect yourself, your loved ones and your communities by getting the vaccine.