A community health clinic — the first of its kind for the area — is expected to open in April in Bismarck.
Northland Community Health Centers, a federally funded organization that offers medical treatment to people regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, will be opening a primary care and walk-in clinic in south Bismarck.
The clinic, called Northland Community Health Centers of Bismarck-Mandan, will be in the old Cash Wise Video store, 914 S. 12th St., Suite 201. The smell of popcorn no longer permeates the building, which stands empty at the moment. But Patrick Butler, CEO of Northland Health Centers, has big plans for the facility.
"We’ve been wanting to get into Bismarck," said Butler, who runs the Turtle Lake-based organization with locations in Bowbells, McClusky, Minot, Ray, Rolette, Rolla and Turtle Lake. Since 2012, Northland Heath Centers has been looking to expand into Bismarck.
Butler said a group of local community organizations was the impetus in bringing the community clinic to Bismarck, including the Wilson Health Cooperative and the Sacred Pipe Resource Center.
Cheryl Kary, executive director of Sacred Pipe, said her organization identified a community clinic as a huge need here, particularly for Native Americans.
“We have such high health disparities in the Native community, a lot of issues around health care and lack of access to health care," Kary said.
Northland Community Health Centers received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration to open the Bismarck facility.
Services at the clinic will include primary medical and preventive care, a walk-in clinic and behavioral health services.
“We’re looking to bring mental health straight into this clinic when we open up and expanding that as much as we can," Butler said, noting mental health counseling is offered at clinics in Minot, Turtle Lake, McClusky and Ray.
The Bismarck clinic will start with two health care providers. The building will have seven exam rooms, some for primary care and others for walk-ins. A couple of rooms are designated for mental health services.
The clinic will offer a sliding fee scale, providing discounts for in-house services based on income.
Butler said the clinic could eventually expand, depending on the community's needs.
"The sky's the limit," he said.
For more information on the clinic, visit www.northlandchc.org.
(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)