PITTSBURG — Sunday recognized a wish come true, but don’t expect the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to stop dreaming.
In just 12 years the clinic has gone from a client base of 6,000 to almost 40,000 and has extended its reach from Pittsburg and Frontenac, to 10 sites in four counties, including health and dental clinics in Iola.
In ceremonies Sunday, officials and staff celebrated an open house and ribbon cutting for its expanded health facility in Pittsburg, headquarters of the CHC/SEK, the state’s largest community health center.
Iolan Janie Henderson serves on its board of directors.
The clinic’s beginning in 2003 was small and somewhat crude. A trailer for a health clinic. A closet for a dental clinic. But on Sunday, the doors opened to an expansion and renovation of a facility built in 2007 that almost tripled its square footage from 15,000 to 42,000.
More than 300 patients use the clinic on a daily basis, said Krista Postai, executive director of the CHC/SEK.
The clinic offers medical, dental and mental health services, a pharmacy, a diabetic education center and vision and hearing services.
The Pittsburg clinic employs 115 health care professionals and support staff.
“We have already grown 11 percent in Pittsburg since we began construction and have plans to add at least 20 more staff members over the next two years,” Postai said.
CHC/SEK also provides dental outreach to 20,000 school children in 14 counties and provides immunizations to children in school districts across Southeast Kansas.
LAND FOR the $5.7 million facility was donated by Crawford County with the city of Pittsburg contributing economic development funds to construct a new road plus add utilities and needed infrastructure. Construction was funded through a combination of federal funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, plus state, local and private funds. Private donors covered the cost of equipping the additional 27,000 square feet space that tripled the available exam rooms, doubled the size of the pharmacy and space for new services.