Gloria Gilliam, director of Development of the East Arkansas Family Health Center introduced preventative healthcare for a healthier tomorrow at the Helena-West Helena Rotary Club's first official meeting of the new year last Wednesday. “East Arkansas Family Health Center provides comprehensive primary and preventative healthcare services through a core staff of providers appropriate for the population served. There are five clinical sites that include West Memphis, Lepanto, Blytheville, Trumann and Helena-West Helena,” reported Gilliam. Besides providing primary medical dental and supplementary services, EAFHC provides services that include outreach/enrollment for ARKids and Medicaid, HIV/AIDS, best practice models for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as preventive health screening and nutrition. “East Arkansas Family Health center's mission is to provide accessible, comprehensive, and quality health care to the communities with emphasis toward the traditionally un-served,” said Gilliam. According to Gilliam, this service is made possible by Herschel funding or NAP (New Access Point Funds) that l go to communities that had a need for health care and a large number of uninsured individuals. The feasibility studies that were completed and it was determined that Helena is one of the areas that could benefit from a community health center that offers quality and affordable health care services to everyone. “The largest percentage of our patients are uninsured and we have also serve those who have Medicaid as well as a percentage of patients who are privately insured,” commented Gilliam. Services being provided at the Helena site include: • Comprehensive medical services • Dental services through Dr. Stewarts office • Pharmacy services through Hickory Hill Pharmacy • Access to behavior health service through Mid South Health system. Gilliam reported that the EAFHC discovered that many of their patients have limited access to transportation. Through other grant funding, they have been able to purchase vans to help their patients to and from the office. Gilliam said a federal scale is used to determine how much each patient will have to pay for services rendered. Gilliam reported that as of Jan. 3, the center has seen 470 patients. The center accepts walk-ins and appointments. Currently, the center has 7 employees to provide front services as well as medical assistance including referrals, enrollment and a nurse, lab technician, two nurse practitioners and a physician's assistant. Gilliam concluded that EAFHC tries not to turn anyone away and are willing to work with you in order to provide the services offered with payment.