Southwest Indianapolis Residents Celebrate Expanded Health Services for Their Community


INDIANAPOLIS – A community gathering was held on July 21, 2010 to celebrate the re-dedication of a 106-year-old former Masonic Lodge as the new home for two community health centers on the near southwest side of Indianapolis.

More than 200 patients, staff, and community members came together to tour the new home for HealthNet Southwest Health Center and Southwest OB/GYN Annex at 1522 W. Morris St. Several of the health center’s founding community members were in attendance.

In 1968, a group of southwest side residents came together for a common cause – to bring quality and compassionate health care to their neighborhood. They fought tirelessly through rummage sales and fish frys and even pushed a piano down the street once – just to make a sale.

In 1972, their dream became a reality when they had raised enough money to purchase an old drugstore on West Morris Street and convert it into a small, but much needed health center. Over the years, they have continued their fight to keep health services in their neighborhood, and today it is HealthNet’s busiest health center.

In fact, HealthNet Southwest Health Center and Southwest OB/GYN Annex (located in a converted mechanics shop) had reached capacity, with no room for expansion. Each year the centers provided care for 8,800 patients, many living below the federal poverty level. In addition, there was no room to provide dental services. There were no dental providers in the area.

Realizing the need to expand services and patient care, HealthNet purchased a nearby former Masonic Lodge in 2007, and embarked on a capital campaign to raise the funds needed to renovate this space and add a comprehensive dental center. The $4.8 million renovation and expansion project designed by Halstead Architects began in the fall of 2009 and was completed in July 2010.

The new Southwest Health & Dental Center is a 24,000 square foot facility with 30 primary care and OB/GYN exams rooms, more than doubling its former size and capacity. In addition, the center will begin offering dental services, as a state-of-the-art dental clinic with eight operatories has been added. With this new facility, HealthNet will have the ability to see an additional 8,000 patients per year and slightly over 1,800 patients per year for dental services.

The new center also offers ancillary services such as podiatry, optometry, social work and mental health counseling, as well as nutrition/dietetic counseling and smoking cessation services. In addition, this larger facility has enabled HealthNet to consolidate primary care and OB/GYN services back into one location, for the convenience of patients.

The new health center serves as a demonstration project for the city’s Office of Sustainability in its use of green building techniques and materials, many of which haven’t been tested in this climate area before. In addition to using low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, sealants and adhesives and installing energy efficient heating, ventilating and HVAC systems, HealthNet incorporated a comprehensive “green” storm water management system including a parking lot composed of pervious pavers, bioswale, live retention wall, and live roof on the building addition.


About HealthNet, Inc.:

Since 1968, HealthNet, Inc. has improved the health status of Indianapolis’ inner-city neighborhoods by making quality health services accessible to everyone. From its beginnings in a converted bank building staffed by one physician, HealthNet has grown to a citywide organization with 18 locations and 450 employees.  It is Indiana’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

Through its network of five community-based, comprehensive primary care health centers, one OB/GYN care center, a pediatric/adolescent care center, eight school-based clinics, and support services, HealthNet annually provides affordable health care to more than 50,000 individuals – 75 percent of whom live at or below the federal poverty level. In 2009, the centers accounted for over 202,000 patient visits.

HealthNet services include: primary and preventive health care; OB-GYN support and coaching for expectant mothers; Healthy Families and Better Indy Babies; dental services; Homeless Initiative Program; counseling, outreach and social service programs.

HealthNet’s health centers include Barrington Health Center, Care Center at the Tower, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center, Martindale-Brightwood Health & Dental Center, Pediatric & Adolescent Care Center, People’s Health & Dental Center, Southeast Health & Dental Center, and Southwest Health & Dental Center. For more information, visit

Kay Johnson
HealthNet Community Health Centers
3401 E. Raymond Street . Indianapolis, IN 46203
Office: (317) 957-2018
Cell: (317) 435-9588