CHC partners with college to better serve students, community
To help ease the growing demand for health care access in Arkansas, a Community Health Center (CHC) looked to form a key partnership with a local college.
Turns out, the interest was mutual. Jefferson Comprehensive Care System Inc. (JCCSI) and Arkansas Baptist College quickly teamed up.
“We were looking for an opportunity to expand, and by the time we were reaching out to them, they were reaching out to us,” recalled Sandra Brown, chief executive officer of JCCSI.
So, a primary care clinic sprouted in an old house on the campus. It’s about a mile south of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Delta Dental also helped, Brown said, by buying the house and gifting it to Arkansas Baptist College. JCCSI funded the renovations and is staffing the clinic.
“Reaching out to the students is part of our mission at Community Health Centers,” Brown said.
JCCSI is based in Pine Bluff and has multiple clinics in Pulaski County.
The CHC on September 15 held a ribbon cutting for the clinic. JCCSI staff, college officials, students, and community leaders attended, as well as Dr. Lanita S. White, chief executive officer of the Community Health Centers of Arkansas.
State Rep. Joy Springer, D-Little Rock, represents the surrounding neighborhood.
“The clinic is definitely needed,” Springer said. “There are health care shortages of doctors and nurses, all over our state, in particular in lower income areas. We have people here in this neighborhood who can just walk here and receive services, so that is just fantastic.”
Springer emphasized that such convenience is important. Many people without transportation options forego needed medical treatment.
For patients in need of oral health care, JCCSI offers transportation from the Arkansas Baptist College clinic to its clinic in College Station, which offers dental services.
If patients can’t afford care, CHCs won’t turn them away. They will receive discounted fees, based on their ability to pay.
“This is exciting,” said Dr. Eduardo R. Ochoa Jr., a pediatrician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and a member of the JCCSI Board of Directors. “At Children’s [Hospital], we focus on kids. Here, we’re going to focus on everyone: students, staff, community members of all ages. They’re going to have great access to care.”