Family HealthCare Network’s newest health center opened on Feb. 26 at 22817 Ave. 196 in Strathmore
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
STRATHMORE – It’s hard to prevent a chest cold from turning into pneumonia if you have to travel to another city to see a doctor. For many Strathmore residents, foregoing a doctor’s appointment for a lingering cough or scratchy throat had become routine because they didn’t think the illness justified the car trip to Porterville or Lindsay. Yet, those small, easy to treat illnesses can often develop into serious and expensive medical conditions without the guidance of a medical professional. Luckily that won’t be an issue anymore for the rural community off Highway 65.
On Monday, Feb. 26, Family HealthCare Network (FHCN) opened its newest health center located at 22817 Avenue 196 in Strathmore just east of the high school. Kerry Hydash, president and CEO of FHCN, said that even though FHCN offers free shuttles to and from appointment, many Strathmore residents are opting to walk to the Strathmore Health Center because it is convenient.
“We have also experienced several patients walking in because of the accessibility of the location,” Hydash said. “A new health center in Strathmore translates into improved accessibility to care for community members.”
Formerly the office of the Stark Packing Corporation, the 5,600-square foot building has six exam rooms and administrative offices. The Strathmore Health Center offers family medicine including routine visits, annual physicals for adults and children, immunizations, and sports physicals, on site lab services, and enrollment and eligibility assistance to serve an entire family. In addition, FHCN is connected electronically to all of its other health center locations, and therefore, all services are available to Strathmore patients, if needed.
“Patients have been sharing how thankful they are to have services in their community,” Hydash said.
The health center should also provide an economic boost to the unincorporated community. Between six and 10 employees currently work at the center. The clinical team is comprised of staff members from the Porterville Health Center with a combined 29 years of experience. Some of them are residents from the Strathmore and Lindsay area. Hydash said the number of staff will grow as the demand for the center increases.
Family HealthCare Network has a history of serving rural communities. Eight of FHCN’s 19 medical clinics are located in unincorporated areas, including Cutler-Orosi, Ivanhoe, Goshen, Pixley, Springville, Terra Bella, Three Rivers and Traver. FHCN also has a fleet of 14 shuttles that provide doorstep-to-doorstep, dial-a-ride like service for patients who do not have their own transportation to the nearest clinic.
Hydash said FHCN has been providing health care to generations of families from the communities of Strathmore, Lindsay, and Plainview at other FHCN locations, primarily from its Porterville Health Center.
“We are grateful to the community members that have selected FHCN as their provider of care, and we hope to continue to grow our services in the community,” she said.
The health center’s hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For more information on clinics near you, call 877-960-3426 (FHCN) or visit www.fhcn.org.