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CHEER and La Red Health Center cut ribbon in Ocean View

La Red Health Center team members shown are in back (l-r) Kevin Loftus , director of development; Mary Kay Rosolie, human resources director; Randall Cash, board member; George Walker, board of member; Judy Johnson, board member. In the middle are Beatrice Chiemelu, chief financial officer; Fabricio Alarcon, chief medical officer, Brian Olson, chief executive officer; and Rosa Rivera, chief operating officer. In front are Frances Haffner, nurse; Prue Albright, board member; and Chris Sadowski, board member. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
August 29, 2017

CHEER and La Red Health Center announced their collaboration to improve access to high-quality adult and senior healthcare services throughout Sussex County at an Aug. 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the Coastal Leisure CHEER Activity Center in Ocean View.

CHEER Executive Director Ken Bock said, "This is a fantastic opportunity to partner in a way that will allow CHEER to complement its current client healthcare offerings and improve access to healthcare for seniors throughout the county."

To do this, LRHC will initially place medical providers at the CHEER Ocean View site and then eventually at the CHEER sites in Greenwood, Milton and Long Neck. All four CHEER sites were selected because they are located in areas of high unmet healthcare needs.

The official start of the CHEER/LRHC collaboration at the Ocean View site coincides with National Health Care Week, a time to recognize the contributions of community, migrant, homeless and public housing health centers in providing access to affordable, high-quality, cost-effective healthcare to medically vulnerable and underserved people in the United States.

The need for improved access to healthcare services in Sussex County cannot be overstated, as the area is federally designated as a Medically Underserved Area, a low-income Health Professional Shortage Area, a Dental HPSA and a Mental Health HPSA.

During an average month, 192 persons are born, 195 persons die and 327 persons move into Sussex County from another area.

The vast majority of the people moving in are senior citizens who are retiring and relocating to live in Sussex County. Overall, in 2015, the Sussex County population was 212,900 and is expected to grow to 251,900 by 2035.

La Red Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fabricio Alarcon said, "The services to be provided by LRHC will include, health education sessions, health screenings (vision, depression, diabetes, blood pressure), nutrition counseling coordinated with CHEER's nutrition program, acute illness treatment including but not limited to, episodic healthcare for fevers, asthmatic attacks, earaches, cold/fever, flu-like symptoms as well as treatment for headaches and dizziness."

For anyone who chooses LRHC as their primary care provider, the following additional services will also be available: physical examinations, and vaccine administration and/or prescription for Tdap, shingles, flu, pneumonia, MMR, Hep A and Hep B.

La Red Chief Executive Officer Brian S. Olson said, "Through the delivery of these services at the various CHEER sites, we expect to enhance the quality of life for Sussex County seniors by increasing the percentage of patients 50 years and older that have received immunization for influenza, and by increasing the percentage of patients 65 years and older that have a documented assessment of fall risk and are evaluated for independence with activities of daily living."

CHEER's mission is to promote and maintain the highest quality of life and independence by developing and providing services that meet the continuing needs of senior citizens 50 and over.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center, LRHC provides bilingual, culturally appropriate, high-quality, cost-effective, primary and preventive medical care to residents of Sussex County, with emphasis toward serving those with unmet healthcare needs who face significant barriers to quality medical care.

LRHC's mission is to be a Center of Excellence, which provides quality patient-centered care to diverse members of the community including seniors, and its medical services are available to all individuals regardless of gender, age, race, ethnic origin, religion, language, sexual orientation or ability to pay.

Together, CHEER and LRHC will partner to ensure the effective delivery of on-site ambulatory healthcare services and healthcare education to CHEER members and guests as well as members of the general public allowed to use CHEER facilities.

Initially, healthcare services at the Coastal Leisure CHEER Activity Center in Ocean View will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays. For more information, call 302-855-1233 or go to www.laredhealthcenter.org.

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