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Primary Health Care opens new clinic in Marshalltown

Primary Health Care (PHC), an Iowa organization that provides services to low-income and at-risk individuals, recently opened a new Specialty Health Clinic that is open to Grinnell students and community members. The new clinic will provide “affordable, comprehensive, confidential family planning services, education and reproductive health care,” according to a press release.

Based in Des Moines, Primary Health Care strives to serve patients who have “barriers to care,” said Marissa Conrad, the Director of Marketing, Communications, and Fund Development at Primary Health Care. “That might be income level, that could be lack of transportation, it could be [that] they don’t speak English as a first language,” she added. “Whatever needs they may have, we try to meet them where they’re at.”

According to Conrad, PHC served 37,695 patients in 2017. Of those patients, 62 percent were at or below the federal poverty level. PHC is a federally-qualified health center, and they have access to the Title X family planning grant. This means that many of their services can be offered at a discount to low-income individuals.

Conrad also said that, while the clinics operated by PHC are not free, “We will never turn anyone away, regardless of their ability to pay.”

In addition, PHC offers accommodations for immigrants to the United States or those who do not use English as their first language.

“We have interpreters on staff at all of our clinics, and if we don’t have a person who speaks their particular language or dialect we can utilize our language line to be able to communicate with them in their own language,” Conrad said.

PHC operates 14 medical, dental, and satellite clinics in Des Moines, Ames, and Marshalltown, and since 2016, when Central Iowa Family Planning (CIFP) in Grinnell abruptly closed, PHC has worked to fill the void left behind.

PHC’s Mobile Health Clinic, which has visited Grinnell several times, offers medical services to those who may not be able to travel to one of PHC’s clinics, and in 2017, as the College and community members struggled to make up for the services lost when CIFP closed, shuttles were arranged from Grinnell to Marshalltown, where Medical and Dental clinics are operated by PHC.

The medical center in Marshalltown provides general medical and preventative care, such as check ups and immunizations, mental healthcare, family planning and “supportive services,” which range from helping patients find a job to helping patients apply for federal aid.

The new Specialty Health Clinic, located at 704 May St. in Marshalltown, won’t expand those services, but it will expand capacity, said Conrad.

“It’s actually just an expansion of space,” she said. “We’ve always provided the OB/GYN and the family planning services at the Medical Clinic, but that clinic is really bursting at the seams. We really needed to expand to be able to see the additional patients.”

The building, formerly owned by Choices Family Planning Clinic, was converted by PHC into the new clinic and officially opened Feb. 13. It now houses the Marshalltown OB-GYN, prenatal care and family planning team, and offers reproductive exams for all genders, birth control, emergency contraception, HIV and STI testing and treatment as well as pregnancy testing.

The Specialty Health Clinic will be open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. But for those who can’t make those times, the PHC Medical Clinic — just a mile away — is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Specialty Health Clinic at 641-753-4021.

Primary Health Clinic provides services across Central Iowa, like the mobile health clinic shown here. Contributed photo.
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