Ground breaking on community health clinic expansion

A local nonprofit breaks ground on its new multimillion dollar expansion project in Pittsburg.

The community cheered as ground finally broke on the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas's (CHC-SEK) next venture.

The nonprofit health service center plans to expand space and create forty-one jobs for Southeast Kansans--something that has people excited.

"We were at capacity," Krista Postai, C-H-C's CEO said. "We actually have staff in what was a former bathroom and staff in closets, people are double and triple, from a patient stand point it is a problem, because we don't have enough exam rooms to go around, so I have doctors who have to wait for exam rooms and patients who have to wait to get into them."

The five million dollar project will triple the number of clinical exam areas at the pittsburg location, not to mention add room for new services too-like optometry.

"The great thing about this program is that it's comprehensive," U.S. Senator Jerry Moran said of the projects. "It's certainly physical services, but also mental health and dental, finding those services together is a real challenge."

The CHC receives about 300 daily visitors, half of which are children. The center is open six days a week, including evening and weekends to accommodate as many patients as possible.

"We're open to everybody, regardless of ability to pay," Postai said. "So I have the richest people in town and the poorest, and the purpose of it though is to fill those needs they have."

The project was funded by a multi-million dollar grant as well as forgivable loans to help with the thirty four thousand square feet of new construction.

"I think the take home is it's a great thing when people come together," Sen. Moran said. "Make a difference in their community, and change peoples lives. "

The CHC hopes to finish the new construction by January of 2013. After which they will move on to the renovation of the existing facility.

The CHC also provides medical and dental services to Southeast Kansans in Cherokee, Montgomery and Allen Counties.

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