Beginning in a waiting room full of patients, Sen. Kay Hagan visited the Minnie Jones Health Center for an hour-long tour of the facility. Hagan visited the local community health center in honor of National Health Center Week.
Led around the building by CEO Carlos Gomez and co-founder Minnie Jones, Hagan asked questions ranging in topic from the kinds of services provided at the health center, to the number of patients served. Two years ago, the center served 18,000 patients with dental care, primary care, behavioral care, pharmaceuticals, substance abuse and HIV services. Community health canters are open to all residents, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
After the tour, Hagan told Xpress that money used for the Minnie Jones Health Center has been money well-spent.
“Not every community has the working relationship between the county, the health and human services area and the federal quality health center. It does make the delivery of health care much more affordable, and I think that’s what we need to be focused on,” she said. “It’s all in one location. You’ve got prenatal care. You’ve got the women, infants and children’s program. You’ve got behavioral health, which is such a big issue in our country and in our state today, as well as an urgent care center. I think the fact that this is available and it does service 17 counties, it pulls in a lot of people who don’t have access to health care.”
The Minnie Jones Health Center is one of 34 federally qualified health centers in the state. For Jones, she said the privilege to serve people was what inspired her to create the local health center in the first place.
“We are here to serve the people that had nowhere else to go,” she said, adding, “I want the people to know that I’m here for all people.”
Below are a few photos taken by Xpress reporter Caitlin Byrd during the morning’s tour: