Public Health director cuts ribbon for a fully-staffed
The Morgan Street Clinic in Carlinville held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for reaching full-time hours with a full staff, as well as in celebration of National Health Center Week. Those who attended the ribbon-cutting event were, left to right Dr. Gaurav Sharma, Health Center Dentist, State Senator Andy Manar, Morgan Wheeler, Glenda Costello, Katie Edwards, Pete Duncan, County Clerk, Lee Ross, Circuit Clerk, Kent Tarro, CEO, Pat Whalen, USDA Office Jacksonville, Ralph March, President Health Center Board, Peggy Barkley, Macoupin County Housing Authority, Health Center Board Member, Jordan Garrison, Macoupin County Assistant States Attorney, Dionne Wyatt, Macoupin County Housing Authority, Deanna Demuzio, Carlinville Mayor, Kim Stinnett, Assistant Clinic Coordinator, Natoshia Spangler, Kate Traum, Morgan Street Nurse Practitioner, Christy Blank, Clinical Director Melissa Vath, Peggy Garrison, Macoupin County Public Health Department CFO, Andrea Card, Health Center Board Member, Lucy Arnett and Luke Arnett.
By JORDAN GRUCZA
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Morgan Street Clinic held a ribbon-cutting event last Monday to commemorate achieving a full staff. The clinic has previously been open and available in an incomplete capacity with partial hours.
“That’s what we were waiting to do the ribbon cutting for,” said Kent Tarro, administrator for the Macoupin County Health Department. “Also because this is National Health Center Week, August 5 through 9, so we thought this would be a good time to do it.
“We are finally at full staff,” he said. “We have all the medical assistants, full-time behavioral therapy and psychiatric work, prescribing medications when they’re needed. In July, we finally got a full-time dentist who is here four days a week.
“Pretty much everything here is brand new,” he said. “We remodeled from head to toe.”
All major health insurance is accepted at Morgan Street Clinic, along with Medicare, Medicaid, Illinicare, Meridian, Molina, Blue Cross Community Family Plan and a sliding scale fee for the uninsured and underinsured.
The behavioral therapy provides all types of care including care for depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and eating disorders.
“We have actually started medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse,” Tarro said. “In particular for alcoholism and opiates.”
The new facility includes four new dental chairs with digital records, three exam rooms, two WIC offices and an x-ray task area.
‘We just got up to full speed three weeks ago,” Tarro said. “The WIC program has been here about a year, we got therapy in here in January, two days a week dentistry in February, and we really weren’t going with medical much until about April. That was all one day here, two days there, kind of hit and miss, but now we’re going to be here to stay, and that’s a big deal. People look for continuity. They want to know they can go in more than Monday or Thursday.”
For future plans, Tarro is looking for ways to bring care out into the community.
“We did get funding to have a behavioral medical mobile unit,” Tarro said. “We’re going to reach out to schools, seeing patients there for visits and bringing them back here for regular care. If we’re lucky, we also have a proposal out for a mobile dental unit, where we wouldn’t only go out and see the children, but what the superintendents want us to do is to take care of their families, as they don’t always get to where they’re supposed to go.”
As of publication, the Morgan Street Clinic is in the middle of holding events for National Health Center Week.
Aug. 6 and 7 were Agricultural Worker Appreciation Day and Patient Appreciation Day, respectively. Agricultural workers on Aug. 6 were given free blood pressure screenings, skin cancer screenings and blood sugar checks.
Thursday, Augu. 8, will be a First Responders and Armed Forces Appreciation Day from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free pastries and clementines will be available.
Another Employee Appreciation Day will be held on the final day of National Health Center Week, Friday, all day Aug. 9.