SALINEVILLE - Salineville residents will soon be able to seek medical care closer to home thanks to a new primary care clinic set to open in the village.
Beth Weir, executive director of the Columbiana County Community Action Agency, said the clinic is set to open at 8 a.m. on Oct. 8 in the Old Melhorn Clinic building.
She said the clinic will cover everything from prenatal to geriatric care, and that mental health care will be added soon after the clinic is officially open.
"This is going to be a really good thing for Salineville. The village hasn't had a doctor in a long time," Weir said. "I'm very excited to open and begin serving people. I'm looking forward to it."
Weir said the clinic's purpose was to provide access to primary health care for anyone who needs it, and that most Ohio insurance plans would be accepted, including all Ohio Medicaid regardless of the provider on the card and Medicare.
"Some people think we're only for the uninsured, but that's not the case," Weir said. "Even if they are insured, our sliding fee scale may still apply to them."
She said the sliding fee scale is based upon income and family size.
Salineville Mayor Mary Smith described the clinic as a "great opportunity" for the village and said she was really happy to see the clinic open.
"I hope the community supports them - that's what will keep them here," she said. "My door is always open, and I'll do what I can to support them."
Weir said she expects the clinic to be busy from day one, and that people have already begun scheduling appointments.
"We anticipate being busy on the first day, and will not be at full capacity," she said, noting that some staff members will be occupied with training related to electronic medical records.
Weir said for the first two or three weeks the clinic won't have as many appointments available, but that by the end of October there would be more availabilities. She described the process as a "gradual" ramp up.
Smith said that she has previously talked with someone about bringing a pharmacy into the village, and that the person said they may come into the village once a doctor's office is established.
Smith said that if such a pharmacy is interested, she would be willing to talk with village council members about tax abatements or other ways to offset the costs.
Weir said the CAA currently operates clinics in East Liverpool, on St. Claire Avenue, and in Lisbon on Lincole Place.
She said the clinic may offer dental care sometime in the future, but said there is already a dentist in the building and that people can seek dental services in a CAA operated clinic in Lisbon.
Weir said all of the clinics operated by the CAA are without residency requirements, and that people can seek care from any of the clinics regardless of where they live.
The clinic will be partially funded by money from the Affordable Care Act, and that the CAA was notified it had received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in June.
"Really the purpose of the grant is to help provide care for the uninsured and underinsured," she said.
People interested in scheduling an appointment at the clinic may call 330-679-2640, which will connect them to the Lisbon office.