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Published on December 30, 2021

Avera Marshall and Rural Health Care, Inc. Collaborate for Primary Care Clinic at New Location

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center and Rural Health Care, Inc. (RHCI) will collaborate to operate a primary care clinic in Marshall as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

This collaboration permits existing Avera Medical Group Marshall’s primary care services to return to the Avera Carlson Street campus at 1521 Carlson St., and operate as Access Health – Marshall.

Available services will include behavioral health, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, internal medicine and urgent care. Limited lab and imaging services will also be available. The clinic will open Jan. 2, 2022.

Patients will continue to receive the same high level of quality health care from providers and staff they know and trust in Marshall. Through a lease agreement with RHCI, physicians, advanced practice professionals and staff will continue to be employed by Avera.

Avera Marshall Regional President and CEO Debbie Streier said returning primary care to the Carlson Street campus in collaboration with RHCI and remodeling the Bruce Street campus offers wins for patients, the community and Avera Marshall.

In addition to high-quality health care, benefits of an FQHC include a sliding-fee discount program and discounted pharmacy program for financially qualified individuals.

“This collaboration expands access to high-quality care in rural communities, including those individuals and families who fall into lower income categories,” Streier said. “Avera and Rural Health Care, Inc. have partnered successfully for more than seven years in several communities.”

Created in 1991 under federal law, FQHCs are “safety net” health care providers. RHCI accepts all major insurances and provides services to all individuals, regardless of ability to pay, by providing a sliding scale based on family income and size. RHCI operates 12 other community-based health centers in South Dakota and Minnesota and has its headquarters in Fort Pierre, S.D.

The location combines RHCI’s knowledge and experience in community health center operations and Avera’s expertise and technology.

Jim Hardwick, CEO of Rural Health Care, Inc., said, “Avera’s willingness and enthusiasm to collaborate with RHCI will allow the Marshall clinic to reach more individuals in need of quality health care. In today’s health care climate, increasing access to high-quality, cost-effective health care is the goal. This collaborative delivery model has a long history of reducing barriers while enhancing and expanding access to care in rural locations.”

Streier said Avera providers and professionals are excited about the potential to return medical services to the Carlson Street campus.

Services offered at the Bruce Street and East College Drive locations would not be part of the FQHC and will remain Avera Medical Group locations.

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