Health Services Network celebrates 30 years

The Southern Ohio Health Services Network (SOHSN) celebrated its 30th anniversary with a birthday luncheon at the Oasis Aug. 11.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate 30 years of growth and success,” said SOHSN Vice-President of Marketing and Development Lisa Parker. “We started in 1976 with one doctor and one office. The goal was to address the issue of access to primary health care and we have now grown to 14 different offices with more than 60 providers throughout five counties in the southwestern Ohio region.”

SOHSN is a not-for-profit health care network that offers comprehensive primary care services. The services provided include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, adult medicine, OB-GYN, behavioral health counseling, pharmacy services, and dental services.

The health care network delivers its services to everyone in the community, regardless of their ability to pay.

“We are the safety net provider in the region,” said Parker. “We certainly take insurance and medicare, and we have the look of a private group practice, but we are one of the few places that take those folks who are uninsured.”

According to Parker, who has worked in the network for 12 years, SOHSN is Ohio’s largest community health care center and one of the largest rural community health care centers in the country.

Since 2002, Kevin Lefler has been the SOHSN Board Chairperson.

“This birthday luncheon is a way for us to show how proud we are that we we have been able to grow and fulfill our mission of serving the under-served medical needs of our community,” he said. “We are incredibly proud of that mission and our record.”

The birthday celebration, which was attended by more than 150 people (including a mixture of representatives from the legal, business, and health care communities, elected officials, and community members) coincided with the National Community Health Center Week.

SOHSN President and CEO Kim Patton said that in 2005, SOHSN provided patient care to more than 15,000 patients.

“We celebrate 30 years today,” she said. “The birthday party is a way for us to thank everyone in the community for their generous time and support over the years. We are very proud of our network and we all truly love what we do,” she said.

SOHSN, with an operating budget of $25 million, is a major economic force in the region. It employs more than 350 staff members and 60 providers to handle the patient load every year.

“We are most proud of the commitment and dedication of our staff and the provider’s outstanding service to our patients,” said Parker. “If you look at the longevity of our staff members, you will see that it is a testament to the 30 years of that dedication and loyalty. We will continue making sure that everyone in the community, regardless of economic status, continues to receive the quality health care they deserve. Happy 30th birthday to us.”