The federal government has designated southeast Fort Wayne as a medically underserved area.
"There are a few doctors' offices and dentists' offices, but very little," Mary Haupert, chief executive officer of Neighborhood Health Clinics, said Wednesday.
There will be more with the opening of the Parkview Neighborhood Health Center on East Paulding Road east of Hessen Cassel.
A collaboration of Parkview Health and Neighborhood Health Clinics, the newly built, 7,500-square-foot health center began treating patients in early March. It will expand hours and add a physician in July; offer Women, Infants and Children nutrition services in October; and provide dental services next year.
The non-profit Neighborhood Health Clinics will occupy most of the space with medical offices and a laboratory. Neighborhood Health Clinics treats low-income and uninsured people who pay income-based fees to the provider.
Parkview will use the rest of the Paulding Road building for its Parkview Center for Healthy Living. The center will stress community outreach and health education, including classes in food preparation, smoking cessation and managing medical conditions such as diabetes and asthma.
"If we think about where health care is going, certainly there is a need for more preventative care and education," saod Ben Miles, chief operating officer for Parkview Regional Medical Center & Affiliates, during a media tour of the new clinic.
Parkview spent $1.5 million to build the clinic and is donating $200,000 worth of equipment and furnishings to Neighborhood Health Clinics, which will rent 6,200 square feet from the hospital system. Neighborhood Health Clinics received $650,000 in federal money through the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act to pay for operational costs.