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SIHF Healthcare clinics help serve underserved population

    SIHF Healthcare acquired the Saint Louis University Family Medicine Clinic in Belleville in 2006. Located at 180 S. Third St. and now branded as SIHF Healthcare, this health center provides comprehensive/integrated family medicine services to children and adults as well as mental health, counseling, pharmacy and patient navigation services.
p13 Nash    A graduate of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Dr. Anne Nash serves on the staff. She received her medical degree in 2003 and completed her residency in family medicine through the Saint Louis University Family Medicine Residency Program.
    The Belleville health center provides health-care services to the underserved population in the area, and currently sees 2,000 patients annually.
    “We take care of everyone,” said Nash. “A person’s ability to pay does not affect their ability to be seen. This is how medicine should work.”
    SIHF Healthcare offers a variety of primary care services across its network, including internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, dental, and behavioral health, to protect both physical and mental health.
    Nash said she enjoys working with patients.
    “A lot of the families live in the area,” she said.
    The goal of comprehensive/integrated health care is to help patients manage their chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension as well as their mental health needs so they can live the best life possible. There needs to be a system in place that addresses each individual’s needs be it housing, substance abuse issues or psychiatric disorders.
    Patients can’t take care of their health when they are dealing with other stressors in their life. “It’s important to take care of the whole patient,” she said. “It’s not just medical problems, it’s social problems.” It’s important to address the barriers that limit a person’s access to health care such as housing, transportation and social contacts.
    “If I can’t find you, I can’t take care of you,” she said.
    The health center has a team of patient navigators, pharmacists and nurses on staff to help patients coordinate their care.
    “It requires enormous effort,” she said
    Not many health centers offer these types of services and would refer patients to outside auxiliary services. It’s easier to access services if everything is located under one roof. Patients know where the health center is and trust the staff, especially those providing behavioral health care.
    SIHF Healthcare believes in partnering with the communities it serves. The clinic has assisted with local health fairs, provided school physicals and connected with organizations that help vulnerable populations.
    “The more we can decrease barriers to health care, the better we can help patients control their chronic medical conditions,” she said. “We try to be a one-stop shop.”

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