Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley plans to open a second Bethlehem location later this month at 635 E. Broad St. offering primary medical care and behavioral health care to those who are underinsured and uninsured.
NHCLV, a nonprofit federally qualified health center, also operates community health centers in downtown Allentown, South Side Bethlehem and West Ward Easton. The designation means the health centers use a sliding scale fee to charge patients based on their income and family size, regardless of their insurance status.
The newest center, in the Broad & Wood professional building in Bethlehem’s North Side, is more than 12,000 square feet. It will have nine exam rooms, a classroom, private space for behavioral health consultations, as well as care management and social services support.
“The design of the Broad Street health center’s first floor plan allows our staff and medical professionals to provide high quality team care, integrated primary medical and behavioral health series, and support the patient-centered medical home program,” said NHCLV CEO Melissa Miranda. “NHCLV welcomes everyone in the community, whether or not they have health insurance, and regardless of their ability to pay. Our health care team treats patients of all ages from babies and children to teens, adults, pregnant mothers and seniors.”
Services will include medication-assisted therapy for substance abuse through NHCLV’s Centers of Excellence program; social services support; disease prevention and wellness education programs, such as diabetes prevention and diabetes management programs, as well as yoga for chronic pain management.
The center will also offer family planning services, group prenatal and parenting programs and an onsite pharmacy.
Kristen Wenrich, the city’s health director, said the Bethlehem Health Department has supported the expansion into north Bethlehem.
“NHCLV provides critical health services to the uninsured and underinsured which is especially needed now as more people are facing unemployment due to the pandemic,” she said. “The Bethlehem Health Bureau relies on NHCLV as a referral source for uninsured clients.”
Although an official opening date has yet to be announced, NHCLV officials are aiming to open by the end of the month. The facility was made possible through a grant from the federal Health Resources & Services Administration.
The group is also planning a new, larger health center on Hamilton Street in Allentown, a few blocks from their center inside the Casa Guadalupe building. The new facility at 160 Hamilton St. is expected to open in mid-2021.
The original site for NHCLV was in Allentown’s First Ward, a designated medically underserved area. NHCLV was officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2004 with a goal of meeting the needs for a coordinated system of primary care for the uninsured and underinsured residents of the Lehigh Valley.
Morning Call reporter Christina Tatu can be reached at 610-820-6583 or [email protected]
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