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April 24, 2014

Coming to the rescue

GREENVILLE — For low-income families, access to healthcare can be a daunting task.

The Community Health Service Agency, Inc. (CHSA), located on 4311 Wesley Street, has been meeting the needs of low-income families in Hunt County for 36 years.

CHSA is a federally qualified health center which is funded by Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, which provides primary medical, dental, basic behavioral health and other medical services to low-income families of not only Hunt County, but also to residents of Fannin, Kaufman, Delta and Collin counties.

With the passage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, CHSA was able to obtain funding for its new Women’s Center addition in 2010.

CHSA needed help to receive the funding for the addition.

Michelle Carter, CEO of CHSA, said Congressman Ralph Hall played a large part in acquiring the funding needed for the center.

“He was instrumental in helping CHSA to acquire the needed funds from the federal government,” she said.

Hall made a visit to the newer location during his campaign visit through the county.

During his visit, Hall toured the facility he helped to build and spoke with staff and patients who receive healthcare through the facility.

Stan McKee, a member of the CHSA board, said through the help of Hall, the agency is able to help many families in the county.

“The services these people are able to provide in the medically underserved population is tremendous,” he said. “People who otherwise would not be able to go. Hall has been a big supporter.”

McKee, who is also a member of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Board, said his two passions are higher education and healthcare.

As a business leader in the community, McKee said he wanted to use his experience to help others.

“There are a lot of things I could do in my spare time, but I really choose to be involved here in the Community Health Center helping a family,” he said. “If not for this organization being here, they would not have any place to go to.”

Research from the National Association of Community Health Centers show that community health centers help reduce the rates of preventable hospitalizations, inpatient days, and have 25 percent fewer emergency department visits than areas without.

According to McKee, the work CHSA does in preventative healthcare not only keeps Hunt County residents healthy, but also helps them be productive members of society.

“This is keeping them from being on the doorsteps of the emergency room,” he said. “Had patients not had this resource, they may not be here today.”

For more information on the Community Health Services Agency, visit www.completemedicalhome.org

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