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Jefferson County Celebrates Health Campus Opening

MADRAS, OR -- Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic Medical celebrate their new Health and Wellness Center Friday, with a 2:30 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony.

County Health Services Director Michael Baker says the facility opened last month and is already providing more streamlined healthcare for the community, "As simple as, a client walks in and we don’t provide the services that they need, we can now physically walk them to the provider that they need to make sure there’s that warm hand-off. To make sure that someone gets engaged in the services. And, I think that’s something that was missed as we were all spread out throughout town."

The building is 19,486 square feet: 9,050 for Mosaic Medical and 7,856 for County Public Health, which includes a community room with teaching kitchen. The space will be used for classes and is available for community use. Cost for the total project was $11 million. Mosaic raised nearly $5.3 million for the facility through community donations and private, state and federal grants. Jefferson County will receive $2.7 million from the state and the balance for its portion will come from the county.

The facility was built next to the Madras hospital on land donated by St. Charles. Mosaic Medical’s Elaine Knobbs says the hospital has expressed concern in the past about uninsured patients seeking treatment in the ER for preventable illness. "And now if they get that, they can say, ‘it’s your choice but there’s Mosaic Medical, right across the parking lot that you can go and establish and have a consistent medical provider that hopefully will prevent the things that are influencing you showing up in the Emergency Room'." Knobbs tells KBND News it also allows easy access to behavioral health, private medical providers, even dental care, "So, when you say ‘across the hall, you can establish with a medical provider’ or, ‘you need a dentist? It’s your choice but here’s something that’s convenient and open to seeing anyone.’ Jefferson County Public Health and Mosaic will help anyone, no matter if you have insurance."

She says Mosaic has also opened a retail pharmacy on the campus, "[It] Offers discounts to the entire community. So, we could get more space for our existing medical, we could add pharmacy, and we could add more space for behavioral health and dental. We’re tripling our dental space."

For the county, Baker says the location makes serving the community and partnering with other provicers more convenient and accessible, "Selfishly, for public health, it gets us in the heart of healthcare." He adds, "As one of the most unhealthy counties in the state of Oregon, this facility and this campus really is designed to shift that. I honestly believe in the next couple of years, there will be some tremendous gains in our overall health status of the community here."

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