Some Community Health Care Center staff moving to courthouse annex, CHCC separating from county

The non-clinical staff of the Community Health Care Center is moving into the courthouse annex on 2nd Avenue North in the coming weeks.

The space across from the County Commission office had been vacant for some time and will soon house CHCC staff as a temporary fix to free up space in the CHCC.

“We’re busting at the seams…with our rapid expansion,” said Kelsey Gummer, chief strategic officer for the CHCC.

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The move will free up space for more clinical activities at the CHCC, specifically for behavioral health, Gummer said. The move will also allow them to hire the non-clinical staff they hadn’t been able to hire due to lack of space, she said.

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They’ll be the space for 12-24 months, Gummer said.

Brian Clifton, county public works director, said that the space didn’t need much work other than a fresh coat of paint, updating the lighting and adding carpet. County staff is doing most of that work, keeping costs down, Clifton said.

The CHCC is paying for those updates, Gummer said.

The space had been previously occupied by the sheriff’s office and then the juvenile probation staff, but has been vacant for some time. Clifton said the county considered remodeling the space for meeting space for county commissions and boards. That was determined to be too costly while waiting to see how county staff would fit into the soon to be remodeled office Executive Plaza across the street. Depending on that shuffle, Clifton said the courthouse annex building could be repurposed.

The CHCC is in the process of separating from Cascade County and beginning operations as a stand-alone community health care center.

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Cascade County City-County Health Department opened the center in 1994 to support increased access to care for the uninsured, underinsured and underserved patients. In 2012, the CHCC started operating as a separate department within the county with a long-term goal of becoming an independent agency, according to CHCC.

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“The Community Health Care Center has worked for the last six years towards becoming a sustainable, independent organization and is excited to have achieved that goal,” Trista Besich, CHCC chief executive officer, said in a release. “Health centers are on the front lines of many health challenges confronting our communities. As community based organizations, we witness the access barriers, difficult life challenges and disjointed systems of care our patients seek to overcome.”

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The CHCC has a target date of Jan. 1, 2019 to complete the separation. As part of that process, center staff is exploring options for other building space, but that’s a long-term process.

The new dental clinic is set to open in mid-June in the Machinery Row building.

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The CHCC’s board president, James Parker Shield, said in a release, “the health center has partnered with the County Commissioners over the last several years to steadily implement work plans in an effort to achieve the goal of separation and is excited to support the Commissioners plans to relinquish the grant. CHCC looks forward to the ongoing partnership we have experienced with Cascade County as we seek to increase access for our community and positively impact the health and well-being of our patients.”