Friday, March 09, 2001

$200K to go to planned clinic

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The funding pieces for the new health clinic here are swiftly coming together.

        Butler County commissioners this week gave $100,000 toward the clinic, which will primarily serve the poor and uninsured when it opens by Sept. 1.

        State Rep. Greg Jolivette helped secure the $100,000 given by the county from state coffers, said Dr. William Karwisch of Hamilton's health department.

        The Mercy Hospital Hamilton and Fort Hamilton Hospital foundations have pledged $50,000 apiece for the clinic's first three years. The clinic will be located in the old St. Mary's Rectory at Sixth and High streets.

        Organizers project that the clinic will cost $350,000 to operate during the first year, and more than $500,000 by the fifth year. The clinic expects to receive 4,500 patient visits during its first year and more than double that in its fifth year.

        The Butler County Community Health Consortium, a nonprofit group of city, county and community leaders, will oversee the clinic, which will employ a full-time doctor and two medical assistants.

        Dr. Karwisch said the 1,500-square-foot facility, owned by Mercy Health Partners, aims to serve the 15 percent of Butler County residents who are uninsured.

        The Hamilton Community Foundation is funding renovation of the space, expected to begin this month, with a $50,000 grant, said John Guidugli, the foundation's associate executive director.


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