December 19 was a day to celebrate teamwork as Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center CEO Ann Fisher Raney and Heartland Health Centers CEO Gwenn Rausch, along with medical staff and a host of elected officials and community leaders celebrated the new HHC-Turning Point clinic at 8324 Skokie Blvd. in Skokie.
Raney said planning for the collaboration began “three years, three months, and three hours ago” to the day before the partnership celebration. She said she looked forward to Monday, January 7, the clinic’s first official day of operation.
U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky paid tribute to Raney and Rausch for their vision and ability to get the collaborative project done. Others who spoke included Jeffrey Greenspan of North Suburban Healthcare Foundation and Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen.
The clinic was made possible by support from North Suburban Healthcare Foundation and NorthShore University HealthSystem. Generous grants from the two institutions helped underwrite the build-out of the clinic and will allow for the launch of the new clinic.
David Rahija of NorthShore University HealthSystem, where he serves as President of Skokie Hospital, noted the power of the new collaboration. “Healthcare is very much a team sport,” Rahija said. “We have to work together around the patient.”
He recalled that when Rausch and Raney came to him to ask for support he was quickly convinced. “Having physical and mental health teamed together is a no-brainer. To be able to do that in partnering with these two great agencies accentuates the mission we do every day.”
Also in attendance at the event were State Senator Elect Ram Villivalam and State Senator Elect Laura Fine, State Reps. Robyn Gabel and Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, and a host of other local leaders.
Occupying a 3,500-square-foot area located in the southwest corner of Turning Point’s building, the new primary care clinic will provide Heartland’s full range of primary and behavioral health care, management of chronic illnesses, women’s health, pediatrics, immunizations, school and sports physicals, referrals to specialists, care coordination, and discounted prescriptions.
Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Shaheena Ahmed from Heartland Health Centers and psychiatrist Dr. Noorani A. Noorani, medical director of Turning Point, will be among the medical providers working in the new space.
The clinic will offer services to all, including both current Turning Point clients and anyone from the community. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Turning Point-HHC provides primary care to all regardless of ability to pay, with sliding-scale fees that start at $30 per visit for those without insurance.
Appointments are now being taken for HHC-Turning Point at 773.751.7800.
More: a version of this post also appeared in the Skokie Review
Below: more photos from the event: top, David Rahija of NorthShore University HealthSystem, where he serves as President of Skokie Hospital, made a surprise presentation: an additional check for $30,000 to Turning Point. (NorthShore had previously donated $250,000 for the clinic). Middle: Nicole Willis, construction manager on the site buildout for Heartland Health Centers, welcomed Rahija into the space as Bill Cooper from Inline Designs looked on; bottom, Laurie Odell was on hand as a tour guide to introduce community leaders to the new site. (Photos by Genie Lemieux-Jordan, Evanston Photographic Studios courtesy of Turning Point)