Release Date: 01-07-2008 Click here for a larger view
(Honesdale, January 7, 2008)…When Melissa Rickard, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner opened for business at the Stourbridge Complex in Honesdale today, January 7th, she initiated a new era in medical care for the local community. Her practice, shared with Dr. Robert Dohner, Family Practice physician, is part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), a “federally qualified health center” or FQHC. This is an entirely new entity, composed mostly of what had been a part of Wayne Memorial Health System.
By law, FQHCs must serve all members of the community but maintain an emphasis on serving underserved areas and populations. The FQHC must offer comprehensive primary care services and offer a sliding fee scale for those who cannot afford healthcare.
Rickard is thrilled to be a part of it.
“The focus of my practice has always been family medicine, including pediatric, adult and geriatric patients,” says Rickard. “The chance to help initiate this practice in my hometown is an exciting opportunity that has great potential to expand community access to healthcare.”
“The FQHC will be open to all patients insured and uninsured in our community, but in particular it will help us improve access to healthcare for the most vulnerable in our society – the underserved, the uninsured and the under-insured,” states Fred Jackson, WMCHC’s Executive Director. Jackson oversaw an FQHC in Susquehanna County that partnered with Barnes-Kasson Hospital. “The FQHC designation is really a plus for the community served by Wayne Memorial.”