Family Christian Health Center: 2005 – 2006

Family Christian Health Center and the Washington Square Health Foundation partner to offer alternatives to emergency room care.

In June 2006, Family Christian Health Center in Harvey, Illinois launched a unique program aimed at reducing the use of the local emergency room for primary care concerns. With the support of the Washington Square Health Foundation, a nurse practitioner was hired to establish an after hours clinic during extended evening hours. The health center’s prime location directly across from the local emergency room proved to be ideal. After Hours Care began on June 8, 2006 and served 231 patients in the month of June. Through the end of October the After Hours program had conducted 1,494 visits. The majority of these patients would have made unnecessary visits to the emergency room if the service was not available at the health center.

Based upon this rapid ramp-up and continued demand for nearly 100 visits daily, it was determined that the program would need to be expanded to better serve the community. Hence, “Today Care” was born. “Today Care” includes 2 physicians, 2 nurse practitioners and related support staff. Hours were expanded to 11:00 am – 11:00 pm 4 days a week, and 8:00 am – 8:00 pm two days a week, totaling 70 hours over six days weekly. At this level FCHC anticipates serving nearly 5,400 patients (≈10,800 visits) in the first year alone.

With Washington Square Health Foundation’s initial investment, Family Christian Health Center was able to establish the need for extended hours primary care services and leverage additional funding of approximately $420,000 to implement the fully expanded “Today Care” program.

“Today Care” staff  are be able to address the following non-emergent medical concerns: Ear/Sinus Infection, Fever, Minor Trauma, Rash, Sore Throat, Vomiting/Diarrhea, Asthma, Cold, Constipation, Influenza, Pregnancy Test, Allergy Symptoms, Vaginal Discharge, Vaccination, Prescription refill, STD’s, and other non-life threatening conditions. Individuals experiencing any of the following will be urged to go the emergency room for treatment: Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Stroke Symptoms, Broken bones, Severe cuts, Blurred vision, and Other life threatening conditions. The “Today Care” program began on January 8, 2007.