The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Sweet Medical Center Celebrates National Health Center Week


August 8, 2018

CHINOOK, MT. August 3, 2018 – Area residents are asked to join Sweet Medical Center (SMC) in celebrating National Health Center Week. The national campaign runs August 12-18, with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Health Centers over the course of more than five decades. One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, Community Health Centers serve more than 25 million Americans, a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable primary care. They have compiled a significant record of success that includes:

• Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings;

• Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;

• Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;

• Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100%;

• Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than 2% of the national Medicaid budget.

• Lowering the cost of children’s primary care by approximately 35%.

Health centers not only prevent illness and foster wellness in the most challenging populations, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing health care issues in their communities. They reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness. Because of their long record of success in innovation, managing health care costs, and reducing chronic disease, health centers have a proud tradition of bipartisan support in Congress.

Founded in 1988, SMC has clinics in Chinook and Harlem and is able to provide a variety of services, including: Primary, preventive, chronic and behavioral healthcare; pediatric, diabetic and well child care; women’s health, minor surgical procedures, screening and laboratory services; telehealth, Workman’s comp and sports and Head Start physicals. SMC has met the stringent guidelines to be certified as a Patient Centered Medical Home.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center, SMC provides healthcare to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. SMC’s HealthShare Partnership (HSP) helps uninsured and underinsured patients by offering discounted quality health services depending on the patient’s income. Applying for HSP is simple and can be started at Once approved, HSP reduces the cost of office visits and lab work as well as dental, vision, mental health, pharmacy and transportation assistance. SMC also employs a certified application counselor to help residents apply for insurance.

To celebrate National Health Center Week, SMC is hosting two free events. On Saturday, 8/11/18, SMC will be hosting a SWEET SWIM at the Chinook City Pool from 11am until 1pm. Area residents are encouraged to join SMC for a refreshing, free family swim. Free gifts will be given to the first 100 children and children must be accompanied by an adult. Then on Thursday from 5:30-8:30pm area residents are invited to SMC’s parking lot at 419 Pennsylvania St. for the Sweet Farmers’ & Community Market.

This is the second year for the Swim and the first for the Market, which will feature locally produced vegetables, art and craft items as well as items sold by local small businesses. Nora Conner, SMC’s Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator encourages everyone to participate in the week’s events, “Health Center Week is a great occasion to thank our patients and help area residents learn more about SMC. We hope to get a huge turnout at the Swim on Saturday and the Farmers’ Market on Thursday!”


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