By Wyatt Goolsby
ODESSA - There's no doubt that the economic boom here in the Basin is attracting people from far and wide. And that means an added challenge for doctors and nurses. But some extra help is making it possible for one Odessa clinic to expand its services.
It took lots of time, effort, and applications. And now, Odessa's hospital district and Family Health Clinic are recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center.
"This is a status that you know when we need extra providers, new providers; it helps to bring them on board. Also, it increases the Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates for us," Dorothy Reyes, the Executive Director of Family Health Clinic, said.
Directors said nearly every nook and cranny of the clinic had to be checked to make sure they provide all types of services. Right now, doctors and staff combine to serve more than 15,000 patients.
"If you have a cough and cold, guess what, you can come to us. We'll take care of you, we'll take care of your health needs," Reyes said. "All it takes is for you to walk in the door and make a phone call, and we'll be happy to help anybody."
And while a big worry is the cost of healthcare, there's another plus to the clinic board members said adds to the resume.
"Availability, there's so many people that don't have a way to go very far. And this clinic is located near a school and a community, where people can get there," Jimmie Johnson, the President of the Board for the Family Health Clinic, said.
From rich to poor, the end goal board members and directors said, is to try and serve everybody.
"We have programs that can help those people who really can't help themselves," Johnson said.