NEWPORT, Pa. (WHTM) – A Harrisburg health care center is expanding into Perry County after a county commissioner’s personal health issue spurred some change.
“My husband’s primary care physician had passed away and he was looking for someone new to take over that care. And there just weren’t any available. No one was taking new patients,” said Perry County Commissioner Brenda Benner.
Benner has been a Perry County commissioner for eight years. She says the need for health services in the county started before her personal matter.
“Perry County was about 56th or 57th out of 67 counties in the ratio to patients to the doctors that were readily available,” said Benner.
After a few years of research and planning, Newport will be home to a new Hamilton Health Center.
More than 200 Perry County residents travel to the Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg. The new center will be a family practice site, with plans to bring in dental and behavioral services. The facility will also offer services for opioid abuse.
“If people have a problem, we want to provide the support for their recovery,” said Jeannine Peterson, CEO of Hamilton Health.
The expansion is funded by donations and government grants. The nonprofit is currently raising $500,000, which will get them through two years of operations. They say by year 3, they will be self-sustaining.
“We believe once we get to those new locations, we’ll really be able to serve more people,” said Peterson.
Hamilton Health aims to help those who are uninsured or underinsured.
The new center is set to open in 2018.
Hamilton Health is also opening a family practice off Union Deposit Road in Dauphin County in the fall. They say both expansions will also create new job opportunities.