A community resource, the Living Healthy Community Clinic is embarking on an important milestone. This year, the clinic celebrates 30 years of serving residents of Winnebago County.
Originally named the Health Place Nursing Center, the clinic was established in 1986 and offered several programs.
In 1994, the clinic and Winnebago County came together to create a new initiative, which is now known as the Living Healthy Community Clinic (LHCC). The community resource provides confidential, cost-effective medical care to underinsured people with high deductibles and uninsured people who currently do not have the money to pay for traditional healthcare.
2015 marked 10 years for the clinic in its current location at 510 Doctors Court in Oshkosh. Since its inception, the Living Healthy Community Clinic has served more than 6,000 patients.
In 2014 alone (the most recent year data is available for), the clinic provided $1,377,022 dollars in medical services. For each dollar donated to the clinic, $3.53 in direct healthcare services was provided. The average cost per patient was $426.46—more than 900 individuals were served in 2014 year alone.
The UW Oshkosh College of Nursing operates the clinic with the support of community agencies and local healthcare organizations. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale based on each individual’s ability to pay.
The clinic’s director Leona Whitman said that as the healthcare and insurance landscape has changed so have the people who use the clinic.
“We really see a lot of the working poor making their way to the Living Healthy Community Clinic,” she said. “And if we can get and keep them healthy they can climb the steep hill to make it. We don’t want a community that is sick. We want to support these people so they can continue to be or become thriving members of the community.”
While the Living Health Community Clinic provides vital services to those in need throughout the community, it also provides UWO nursing students with a learning laboratory.
“The clinic is free to anyone who comes…it’s really a great resource for people to come and take preventative health measures and deal with problems they’ve had for a long time,” said senior Grace Stolz.
As a UW Oshkosh nursing student, Stolz works at the LHCC to hone her skills as a future nurse while also helping those in need—something she feels is very important.
Stolz is one of hundreds UW Oshkosh students who has worked at the LHCC over the years.
“Nursing students gain valuable real life experiences by listening to and connecting with patients at the clinic,” said Suzanne Marnocha, assistant College of Nursing dean and professor at UW Oshkosh.
Whitman said she appreciates UW Oshkosh students who put in their time at LHCC—but she knows the experience is worth more than just their time.
“At the end of their time with us, these nursing students are changed people,” Whitman said. “We give students important jobs at the clinic—ones that amaze and change them, ones that open their eyes to a new population of people.”
The LHCC provides the following services: primary, non-emergency, medical care for health problems; medical care for patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiac issues; orthopedic services including joint injections with the new orthopedic MD volunteer; diabetic education; on-site mental health services; limited dental care; prescription medication (no controlled substances); health education and promotion.
To help support the LHCC, visit uwosh.edu/livinghealthy/