Mountaineer Health Center gets $650K grant to expand services in Paw Paw

by Kate Evans

Mountaineer Community Health Center staff stand by the center’s new sign.
Pictured, from left, are Twila Montessi, RN; Julie Smith, receptionist; Tina Waugh, Nurse Practioner; Stephanie Miller, business manager and CEO Jason Whipkey.

Mountaineer Community Health Center was recently awarded a $650,000 Federally Qualified Health Center New Access grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to provide primary and preventative care.

The federal funding will be used to expand primary capacity care and behavioral health access to the clinic, said Executive Director Jason Whipkey.

Mountaineer Community Health Center has been providing health care services at their Winchester Street location since May 2004. They were established in 1996.

The health center will hire a social worker, a nurse practitioner and medical support and reception staff with the federal grant money. They’re also renovating a little to make room for increased staff and getting a new pharmaceutical vaccine refrigerator to keep eligibility with the children’s vaccine program.

Various medical equipment is also being purchased to serve the Paw Paw area.

Whipkey, who wrote the grant, said that news of the grant being funded was exciting. It will enable the health center to increase the number of people it serves and will increase the area’s access to behavioral health services.

Patients currently have to travel to Cumberland, Martinsburg or Winchester for these services.

“It increased opportunities to meet the needs of our community,” he said of the grant funding.

The health center’s mission is to provide quality comprehensive health care to residents from their   service area without regard to their ability to pay.

Their clinic sees patients from West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia that mostly travel 30 minutes or less to be seen at the health center.

Services

Whipkey said that Mountaineer Community Health Center provides

Mountaineer Health Center CEO Jason Whipkey shows off one of the clinic’s exam rooms.

comprehensive primary care to individuals of all ages.

The clinic manages chronic medical conditions, does preventative care screenings and has an on-site laboratory where blood can be drawn. They can also do childhood and adult immunizations, family planning and gynecologic care.

Other medical services that include family practice, breast and cervical screenings, occupational medicine, treatment of minor injuries, workman’s compensation injuries, laboratory services, EKG, consultation and referral.

The health center also offers physicals and provides free blood pressure screenings and weight checks. They refer patients for x-rays and mammograms.

Mountaineer Community Health Center accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial health care insurance, he said. The clinic also has a sliding fee scale that’s available to those with limited incomes.

The health center is still using the electronic medical records system that they implemented several years ago, Whipkey said. The system gives them a better overall picture of a patient’s health and alerts them when a patient is due for a check-up or major test.

Whipkey said he came on board at Mountaineer Community Health Center in January of 2018 and has been the health center’s CEO since this January. Current medical staff is nurse practitioner Tina Waugh and registered nurse Twila Montessi.

Mountaineer Community Health Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On the fourth Thursday of the month, the clinic is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Next year they plan to expand evening hours, Whipkey said. They can usually do same day appointments and accept walk-ins for acute issues.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 304-947-5500.

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