HealthPoint Family Care is a private, nonprofit primary health care organization that provides medical, dental, OB/GYN and behavioral health services to low-income and uninsured patients in Northern Kentucky. HealthPoint was established in 1971 as a volunteer effort of physicians and dentists in Covington; and incorporated in 1972 as Covington Family Health Care Center (becoming HealthPoint Family Care in 2002). In 1978, HealthPoint won its first federal grant from the Bureau of Primary Health Care. This funding enabled the organization to provide health care services to patients with no ability to pay, and continues to be the organization's main source of funding.
Using private grants, fundraising and donations, HealthPoint provides medical services, and in some locations dental, through 19 school based health clinics in low income shcool districts in the counties served. The school based clinics provide health services to students at risk of having immunization delays, that have no access to well care, and/or have parents or guardians unable to take them for primary care treatment. With permission from the parent or guardain, the student patients are treated at school during the school day. Providing health care services directly to students in schools has statistically shown to improve access for children and reduce the need for students to miss school due to health care needs or illness. Healthy children display higher self-esteem, and are able to concentrate more and do better in school. The number of children who lack access to essential health care is alarming, and reaching these children is crucial. Increasing access for one of the most vunerable populations, the children of Northern Kentucky, to improve oppotunities for success is essential to HealthPoint's mission.
HealthPoint Family Care also used donations and fundraising to provide services through Healthcare for the Homeless, which is the only program in Northern Kentucky that provides free care to the homeless communtiy. Originally opened as a stand alone clinic in 1989 called the Pike Street Homeless Clinic in Covingtion, HealthPoint consolidated the purpose of the clinic with its permanent locations and began Healthcare for the Homeless in 2017. By investing in services instead of brick and mortar, HealthPoint has been able to provide additional free services, including medical, dental, OB/GYN and behavioral health, to homeless patients across the service area, not just in Covington. Prior to transitioning the program, the Pike Street Clinic had restricted hours and limited days. Through Healthcare for the Homeless, HealthPoint has been able to increase access for homeless patients with multiple locations accepting walk-ins during weekday evening hours and on weekends.
Healthcare for the Homeless aims to improve the health of the homeless community in Northern Kentucky, and help patients achieve a more stable lifestyle. HealthPoint continues to be part of a regional coalition of agencies that assist the homeless, and is a significant referral source for patients for food, shelter and other services. Additionally, the program hopes to help prevent and solve medical problems of homeless patients before they become emergencies or life-threatening conditions.
The organization, known as a community health center that exists to make sure everyone has access to primary health care, is one of more than 1,300 federally qualified health centers that receive federal funding to help subsidize care to uninsured, low-income patients. Federally qualified health centers must be located in high-need communities; charge uninsured patients on a sliding scale fee schedule that is based on income and family size; be governed by a board of directors made up of at least 51% patients; provide core primary and preventive health care services that include dental and mental health; demonstrate cultural competency in serving diverse populations, and meet performance and accountability requirements regarding their administrative, clinical and financial operations. Currently, federal funds are used to operate six permanent health care centers in Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Fayette, Jessamine and Owen counties.
HealthPoint Family Care ensures that everyone in the community is provided with affordable, quality medical and dental care. Good health is vital to adults seeking or retaining jobs and for children to attend and do well in schools. No other medical practice accepts uninsured patients who cannot pay full fees, and few accept Medicaid-covered patients. HealthPoint Family Care is an essential service for low-income patients, and their donation-funded programs reaching the most vunerable populations are critical for the health and success of the Northern Kentucky community.