It’s often said that prevention is the best medicine. That’s definitely true — preventive health services can help keep you healthy and uncover health issues before they become severe. But what if you have difficulty accessing those services? That’s where community health centers come into play.
We can all benefit from receiving regular preventive healthcare services. While many of us can access those easily by using our health insurance benefits, for others, it’s more difficult.
A lack of health insurance or other financial difficulties keeps many community members away from the services they need to stay at their healthiest.
That’s why Erlanger Health has offered community health centers within the greater Chattanooga area for more than 40 years. We’re committed to providing access to every person of every age, regardless of ability to pay.
But you may not be familiar with community health centers and what they offer. Read on as we take a look.
Community health centers offer access to preventive and primary care
Regular checkups can help prevent many health issues before they even begin. They’re essential because they help you keep well — and spot any potential health conditions in their earliest stages.
Think of it this way: You take your car in for regular maintenance checks to keep it running at its best. Checkups with a medical provider allow you to do the same thing for yourself.
At these appointments, a doctor or other clinician will review your medical records, perform a physical exam, talk through your lifestyle and any concerns you have, and order lab work and/or other age-appropriate screenings.
Community health centers provide access to these vital checkups, along with medical care for chronic health issues or acute illnesses or injury.
Community health centers offer a gateway to a full spectrum of care
When you visit one of our three community health centers, you receive care from a team of board-certified providers, including pediatricians, internal medicine specialists, dentists and nurse practitioners. Together, they form a team to handle your healthcare needs.
In many cases, this team can provide the care you need on-site, including disease management, laboratory services and X-rays. We’re focused on providing comprehensive primary and preventive care.
But if you have a medical need that can’t be handled at one of our community health centers, you have access to the full spectrum of care through Erlanger Health System. This includes emergency care, hospitalization and specialty services, as needed.
“The team approach at our community health centers is one of the greatest benefits. You have access to a wide range of care in one convenient location,” says Dr. Steven Cooper, Medical Director of the Erlanger Community Health Centers.
Community health centers are offered in three convenient locations
Those within Chattanooga and surrounding areas have access to these vital community health centers in three different locations. All locations offer access to adult primary care, but each location has specific offerings.
- Southside, located at 3800 Tennessee Avenue, Suite 124. This location offers general adult care, pediatrics, laboratory services, X-ray, OB/GYN, diabetes and high blood pressure counseling, and insurance counseling.
- Dodson Avenue, located at 1200 Dodson Avenue. This location offers general adult care, pediatrics, laboratory services, X-ray, diabetes and high blood pressure counseling, insurance counseling, pharmacy, WIC, and behavioral health services, along with dental care.
- Erlanger Premier Health, located at 251 N. Lyerly Street, Suite 300. This location offers general adult care, laboratory services, OB/GYN, and diabetes and high blood pressure counseling.
Am I eligible to receive care at community health centers?
The answer is yes. Anyone may receive care at Erlanger community health centers, regardless of ability to pay.
Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans are accepted, and many patients are eligible for reduced fees for services. If you’re in need of assistance, bring proof of income and address to your visit — pay stubs, W2 forms, a state license and utility bills are acceptable documents.
Insurance counselors are on-site to help guide you through whether you’re eligible for any type of insurance plan, including Medicare, Medicaid and the Healthcare Marketplace. Social workers are also on-site to help you access any other healthcare or ancillary services you may need within the community.
To learn more about Erlanger community health centers, including office hours and contact information, visit our website. New patients can save time before their first appointment by filling out the new patient form in advance.