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North Country Family Health Center offers walk-in times for pediatric patients

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WATERTOWN — In an effort to respond more quickly to the needs of its pediatric patients, the North Country Family Health Center now offers walk-in slots from 9 to 11 a.m. daily at its main clinic, 238 Arsenal St.

Kimberly L. Thibert, the center’s clinical operations director, said that time slot is for clients who already are pediatric patients at the agency.

“I think, especially in a pediatric population, the child goes to bed well, and they wake up not feeling well,” she said.

Located between the Convergys Corp. call center and the Jefferson County Department of Social Services, the agency will rotate its pediatricians during the walk-in hours.

“It’s about continuity of care for them,” Mrs. Thibert said. “It’s someone that knows about the child’s history.”

According to information posted on the health center’s website, walk-in slots are for sick visits and minor injuries only.

The agency, formerly known as the North Country Children’s Clinic, also continues to offer regular appointments, and continues to accept new patients through the pediatric clinic.

Mrs. Thibert said the adult clinic, which was established in the fall of 2012 after the agency became a federally qualified health center, also is accepting new patients. Same-day appointments also are available for those ages 18 and older.

“It’s not as busy as it has been in the past, but it’s a good thing people are well,” she said.

Both dental and behavioral health services for children and adults continue to be booked out “a ways,” she said.

According to information compiled by Marketing Director Elaine P. Garvey for the 2013 annual report, agency providers saw 1,200 patients in pediatrics, 3,000 in dental, 1,400 in school-based health centers and 1,000 in the adult clinic. As of earlier this month, 9,471 patients were logged for 2014. Of the latter figure, 75 percent were under 18, 14 percent had visits not covered by insurance, 52 percent were covered by public insurance, 23 percent were covered by private insurance and 50 percent were at or below the federal poverty level of $11,490 for an individual or $23,550 for a family of four.

For more information, call 782-9450 or visit the agency website, www.childrens-clinic.org.

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