The La Pine Community Health Center is getting an expansion.
Former CEO of the La Pine Community Health Center Charla DeHate says the plan to expand what started in 2018 when an economist told her that health centers need to think broader.
“I came back from that (a conference) and talked to the board of directors,” said DeHate. “The next year, we purchased this building, the existing building, and the property, and then we started the planning for a new building.”
Thursday was a groundbreaking event for that new building that will serve much more than just the city of La Pine.
“South to Crescent and east to Christmas Valley, and that is a total of 25-30,000 people,” said DeHate. “So, as the community grows, the community health center needs to grow.”
Between the three Deschutes County Commissioners, more than $6 million was received from the federal government and the state.
“South County is an underserved area,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang. “The demand is there to make a much larger facility and a much larger staff to keep that facility busy.”
It’s a new building on its way, with services never seen in La Pine.
“Dentist services, for the first time imaging services such as CT scans, mammograms, and ultrasound to La Pine to the south county area, as well as expanded mental health programs and also child care services for our staff,” said Marketing and Community Manager for the La Pine Community Health Center Courtney Ignazzitto.
Services that are expanding by 45%. And that’s for everyone, not just the insured.
“You know, the unique thing about federally qualified health centers is that we are able to offer the same services to someone who has no insurance and has very little income, and they get the same services, the same care as the person who has commercial insurance and can afford care,” said Ignazzitto.
The three-story 27,000-foot wellness center is expected to open in late 2024 or early 2025.