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January 7, 2013

No insurance? No problem

New health care facility serves low-income families

INDIANAPOLIS — When Jimmy Brown came to Indianapolis from Kansas City to scour the city’s impoverished areas for a location to open a healthcare facility, he said it seemed like fate.

Temporarily living in an apartment complex near 21st Street and High School Road, he began scouting the city. In the end, he didn’t have to go far to find a landing spot for HealthNet West.

Serving more than 51,000 families on an annual basis, a significant amount of people on the westside are about to see their health care options expand with the new facility.

Opening Jan. 7, at the former Blockbuster Video building at 6029 W. 10th St., HealthNet West Health Center is expected to provide care to those who are uninsured or cannot afford service, which makes up more than 60 percent of the service area population. No one will be turned down because of an inability to pay and people from across the state are welcome.

“What really happened is that I lived on the west side in a corporate apartment,” said Brown, president and CEO of the HealthNet West Center, “and I would drive through these poor and underserved neighborhoods and thought it was physically such a need. We were so blessed that it came to pass that I lived in that neighborhood. Now the clinic is a reality. Actually living in the neighborhood and the clinic timing was good fortune.”

The HealthNet West center will be the 18th such facility in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. It will offer adult primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN services, as well as podiatry, optometry, social work, and behavioral health services. There will be access to prescriptions that are discounted as well as advice counseling regarding nutrition and smoking cessation.

“There’s a high rate of poverty and uninsured in that area and there’s a real need,” Brown said. “We expect to be at capacity whenever we’re open. We’re really trying to go geographically where there are these needs. Quite frankly, it could have been on the east side. The need was there for it, and we always anticipate serving a very needy population.”

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