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HealthNet Hosts Community Celebration for the Opening of the New People’s Health & Dental Center on Indianapolis’ Near Eastside

7/25/2011

A community gathering will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on August 16 to celebrate the re-opening of People’s Health & Dental Center on the Near Eastside. More than 200 patients, staff, and Eastside residents are expected to tour the new home for the health center at 2340 E. 10th St. Several of the health center’s early organizers will be in attendance, along with U.S. Rep. André Carson, Mayor Greg Ballard and representatives from the 2012 Super Bowl Legacy Committee.

People’s Health Center actually got it start in 1971, when Eastside residents opened the Near Eastside Community Organization Health Center. It was located in a converted pool hall at Washington and Oriental streets. The center became known in the community as “the blue jeans clinic” for its welcoming atmosphere toward those in need. A year later, the center moved into a remodeled furniture store on East New York Street and was incorporated as People’s Health Center.

In 1979, People’s Health Center relocated to a converted warehouse on East 10th Street. That was its home for 32 years, until earlier this year when a new 26,000 square foot facility was built in front of it and the old warehouse was demolished for parking.   

The health center outgrew its space nearly five years ago, in response to the needs of this community. Each year the health center provided care for more than 9,000 patients and provided 34,000 patient visits.  In 2008, HealthNet launched an $8 million capital campaign to raise the funds to renovate and expand the center, as well as renovate another health center on the near west side, Southwest Health Center.

Thanks to capital campaign donors and $5.3 million in federal stimulus funds, the $6.6 million environmentally “green” health center serving the uninsured and underinsured will create jobs and set a new standard for patient care, serving 11,000 patients and delivering 46,000 patient visits per year. The new center serves as a demonstration project for the City of Indianapolis’ Office of Sustainability in its use of green building techniques and materials, many of which haven’t been tested in this climate area before. 

The health center is located along the East 10th Street business corridor, which is already undergoing many improvements as a part of the 2012 Super Bowl Legacy Project.

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Since 1968, HealthNet (http://www.indyhealthnet.org) has been a mainstay in the Indianapolis community. Through its network of six community-based health centers, an OB/GYN care center, a pediatric and adolescent care center, a maternal-fetal medicine center and nine school-based clinics, HealthNet annually serves over 50,000 individuals and families. Many of them are uninsured or underinsured and live below the federal poverty level. 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, Eastside Health Center, Martindale-Brightwood Health & Dental Center, People’s Health & Dental Center, Southeast Health & Dental Center, Southwest Health & Dental Center, the Care Center at the Tower, the Pediatric and Adolescent Care Center and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center. HealthNet is Indiana’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. HealthNet is an affiliate of IU Health.

Media Contact: Kay Johnson, HealthNet, cell (317) 435-9588, office (317) 957-2018, kay.johnson@indyhealthnet.org