Lebanon, PA: A new health center will provide access to primary care, integrated behavioral health care and other essential health services to Lebanon County residents.

Family First Health, a regional health care provider focusing on vulnerable patients, is opening the center at the WellSpan Dixon Foundation Health Center, at Fourth and Willow streets, Lebanon. The center will start seeing patients Feb. 24.

Family First Health (FFH) will operate out of a new 7,000-square-foot office that includes 12 exam rooms on the first level of the Dixon Center. The office will initially employ nine staff members, including a physician, a nurse practitioner, a behavioral health specialist, health insurance enrollment specialists and others, including bilingual staff members.

FFH also will add a community health worker who will connect patients with the necessary services that allow them to live healthy lives, such as housing, transportation and nutritious food support.

The $3.5 million project was funded by a $2 million gift from the Francis J. Dixon Foundation and funding from the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

“The center will play an important role by helping local residents to stay healthy, a key component to a thriving Lebanon County,” said Frank Dixon, chairman emeritus of the Dixon Foundation.

FFH is a Federally Qualified Health Center with six sites in Lancaster, York and Adams counties. Building on a 50-year history, FFH is designed to help patients address barriers to good health that are often experienced by the 30 percent of Lebanon County residents living in poverty. A 14-member community advisory group of Lebanon leaders chose FFH as the primary care partner for the Dixon Center.

Jenny Englerth, president and CEO of FFH, said the new center has received strong support from other local health providers and social service agencies, as the community works together to open doors to better health for vulnerable patients. For example, Family First will send its obstetric patients to Lebanon Family Health Services, where they will receive services provided by the WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program. Lebanon Family Health Services also will provide educational classes in parenting, diabetes prevention and tobacco cessation to FFH patients.

“We appreciate the warm welcome the Lebanon community has offered us,” Englerth said. “Together, we will work to help local residents achieve their best health.”

To provide easy access to FFH, a new entrance was added off the rear parking lot of the WellSpan Dixon Foundation Health Center. The entrance also gives patients and visitors access to other services located in the building, including WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital’s rehabilitation unit, WellSpan Family Medicine – North Fourth Street and WellSpan diabetes and nutrition counselors.

Plans are to add a community room and space for other services that will support vulnerable patients to the adjoining area of the Dixon Center.

“WellSpan is excited to support this health center,” said Tom Harlow, senior vice president of WellSpan Health and president of WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital. “We look forward to continuing to partner with Family First Health in supporting the health of our community.”


Photos courtesy of Stephen Moyer Photography

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