A 6,800-square-foot addition to the federally qualified Raphael Health Center enables the community-based nonprofit organization to broaden its comprehensive health care services to persons of all ages, regardless of their health insurance status or ability to pay.
According to CEO Sherry Gray, the new addition will allow Raphael to expand its dental care and optometry services as well as add more exam rooms. She said the health care center recently added an addictions counselor and enhanced addiction services as well as diabetes and cancer navigators and expanded mental healthcare offerings. The expansion was made possible in part by a $1 million U.S. Department of Health & Human Services grant. Gray said the board of directors is looking to finance the remaining $1.7 million through fundraising.
A community space in the new addition is available to area nonprofits like Freewheelin’ Bikes, which holds board meetings in the space. The Marion County Health Department plans to hold a variety of programs there too. The fully accessible kitchen area is designed to host nutrition and cooking classes.
In 1992, congregants at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church sowed the seeds for Raphael Health Clinic by purchasing a former dental office at 401 East 34th St. and establishing the Mapleton-Fall Creek Christian Health Center in 1994. Two years later, Raphael Health Center was established as an independent nonprofit to provide community-based, culturally sensitive health care. Gray said her 63 team members see 6,500 patients annually.