Congressman Bill Johnson stopped in Barnesville on Tuesday, Sept. 1 to learn about the services provided by Ohio Hills Health Services. The congressman, who was unable to attend during the August 9-15 celebration of National Health Centers Week, had been in Cadiz early that day where he worked the cash register at a Starfire gas station.
Founded 39 years ago with three employees,  75 employees now serve approximately 7,000 patients at four counties with clinic locations that  include Woodsfield, Quaker City, Barnesville and Freeport. OHHS Executive Director Jeff Britton said the four sites average 60 to 70 visits per day, totalling 23,000 visits annually with an average of three and a half visits per patient. He said the care provided is all over the spectrum and is the primary provider for most of their patients, particularly those in Monroe County where there is no hospital.
“Patients in our more rural areas are using us for urgent care more and more,” Britton said. He said that because OHHS accepts Medicaid, patients come from counties surrounding the four clinic sites as well.
Britton said 70 percent of the non-profit’s money is grant funded.
“Grants are our lifeblood,” Britton said.
Johnson recently sent a letter of support of the clinic’s grant application to the Department of Health and Human Services.
“The services you provide are very, very important to rural communities,” Johnson told Britton. “You provide this vital service without a steady funding stream.”
Randy Runyon President & CEO of the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers thanked Johnson for his “strong” support of the OACHC. Johnson has been supportive of the National Health Service Corporation, and encouraged more providers to practice in medically underserved areas.
Britton and OHHS Community Outreach Director Lana Phillips gave Johnson a tour of the historic circa 1891 Bradfield building that OHHS has occupied since 2007. Phillips said the first floor lobby area will be renovated to bring it into compliance with HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) law.  
On the second floor, they told him about plans for a dental suite. Phillips said the need in the area was great, particularly for children. Britton said grant sources for the dental suite are being sought and estimated that it would cost between $250,000 to $300,000 for construction, plus the cost of equipment.