NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA – As Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma, Inc. (CHCNEO) looks back at 2017, there have been a lot of new and exciting things that were begun there and that are making the new year ahead look even brighter for the region.

CHCNEO began operations in 2014 as the Route 66 Health Clinic, expecting it would be many years before it would expand and leave its initial location on Main Street in Afton. However, in 2016 the Board of Directors approved a request by CHCNEO CEO Patrick Peer to establish a site in Grove, which launched the Grove Community Health Center with lead physician Dr. Durick relocating his practice from Afton to the site at 10405 US Highway 59. Durick was joined by Russ Peters, APRN. But the expansions did not stop there.

Last July, a business decision was made by St. Francis Hospitals to close their clinic location in Welch. Knowing that CHCNEO had an interest in the location, they contacted CHCNEO administration and offered to lease the site. The CHCNEO Board of Directors approved the request to establish the Welch site and in October, after receiving authorization from the federal government, the Welch Community Health Center was opened and continued their tradition of providing quality primary health care for the people in northern Craig and Ottawa counties.

The staff at Welch, including Bill Evans, P.A., were excited about becoming part of the CHCNEO team and as a result, the Welch center has expanded its hours and is now open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday continuing care to the community it has served for over 17 years.

2017 also saw the relocation of the Afton Community Health Center into a new facility at 21965 Bison Drive just off Highway 59, west of the Miller Pecan Company. The new care center provides a site that is more accessible and has five treatment rooms and a larger lab while maintaining the culture of the former site and primary care supported by Melinda Bailey, ARNP. Although the site remains a work in progress, patients and staff are enjoying the new facility and looking forward to the Spring beautification project that will take place improving areas such as landscaping and signage.

In addition to the new location, Afton Community Health Center is pleased to announce the hiring of Diane Vinson, LCSW, who provides on-site behavioral health counseling with an emphasis on reducing dependency on opioid medications and adolescent counseling. Vinson is accepting new patients through the CHCNEO referral system and said she is looking forward to providing care in support of the three-county region.

In addition to physical locations, CHCNEO has expanded its community availability and interaction via a new website, www.chcneo.com, and social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You can connect with them by searching "Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma, Inc."

“We are excited about the new locations, building and services and look forward to continuing our quest to provide the finest quality healthcare to the folks in northeast Oklahoma,” said Peer, “We will be developing plans to expand to other rural locations in 2018 and years to come. Community based primary health care is what we do and what we do well and will remain the focus of our mission, vision and values.”

For details or to schedule an appointment at any of the CHCNEO locations call 918-257-8029, 918-801-7504 or 918-788-3918. A sliding payment scale is available for patients based on family size and income, most insurance including SoonerCare and Medicare is accepted.