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Underserved population for health care can find support from this Odessa clinic

The Medical Center Hospital Family Health Clinic on the south side of town balances health care and financial assistance for those who are low-income or uninsured.

ODESSA, Texas — There is a financial burden for hospitals to carry when caring for low-income or uninsured patients who cannot pay for their own medical care.

While this may be the case, there is one clinic in Odessa that mostly cares for that population and is financially stable.

The Medical Center Hospital, or MCH, Family Health Clinic has two locations, and this one in particular is located on the south side of town at 840 West Clements St.

It is a federally qualified health care center look-a-like, meaning although it can’t receive federal grants, it is still eligible for state grants that it leans on to survive financially.

“I get to serve the people who would fall through the cracks," said Tammy Trollope, a Family Nurse Practitioner at this MCH Family Health Clinic location.

This MCH Family Health Clinic can be forgotten due to it’s location being separate from the downtown hospital area, but the work it does is impactful to West Texans.

“The biggest thing that we do out here is help provide health care to the underserved," said Trollope. "So, folks that have no insurance, folks that are indigent, we help provide health care for them, either on a sliding scale basis or they might qualify for one of our programs. We do handle a lot of grant programs from the government.”

About 75% of the patients the clinic serves fall into the category of underserved, and most of them are uninsured.

The clinic balances health care and finances to support patients in getting the care they need through financial assistance.

“There [are] a couple of grant programs," said Trollope. "There is a grant program that provides for a lot of their care here in the clinic, whether it’s seeing one of the providers, it helps with steep discounts on their pharmacy bills, such as the 340b program."

The clinic provides the same services as any other medical provider, and it has the capability to serve patients from around the Permian Basin.

“We get patients from all around," said Trollope. "We get them from Andrews, we get them from south of town and the surrounding areas.”

Trollope said that many transient oilfield workers seek emergency care from MCH or Odessa Regional Medical Center, despite not having insurance or a primary health care provider, leaving them to potentially struggle to pay for their medical care.

With those workers not being from the area, they typically do not realize that this MCH Family Health Clinic is available to support them.

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