Sterling Health Care: 859.404.7686, Sterling Women's Care: 859.498.2323

Bath Community Medical Center: 606.674.9776, Nicholas Family Health Services: 859.405.4024

Dec 5

Sterling Health Solutions, Inc. Service Expansion

Nicholas County Urgent Care Center under new ownership
Tracy Pratt-Savage 12_21_16 Mercury

For the past few years Nancy Hunter and her staff have been providing “walk in” Urgent Care to Nicholas county from the Nicholas County Urgent Treatment Clinic located at 2330 Concrete Road. The clinic is open Monday through Wednesday 9A – 5PM, Thursdays 11A – 7PM and 9AM until noon Friday’s.

As of a few weeks ago, the Ms. Hunter’s practice was purchased by Sterling Health Solutions. Patients won’t see any difference other than a name change on signs down the line. The staff, hours and services will remain the same, and if anything may be expanded.

According to Sterling Health CEO Harold Brown, “The opportunity to partner and take over the clinic came up very quickly while we were finalizing securing space at the Old Hospital building nearby. We saw a great fit to our future plans for Carlisle and our mission as a Federally Qualified health Care Center. Our immediate plan is to assist and enhance what Ms. Hunter and her staff are already doing here. We are also studying her model of focusing on “walk in” services with some appointments; vs. our current model of requiring appointments and leaving a few slots open for walk-ins. We may implement the Nicholas County model at other locations to better serve the communities we’re in.

Ms. Hunter was already using the same EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system as Sterling Health Solutions which made the transition easier. Sterling representatives have been in training the staff on how Sterling works in other areas.

If any changes will be made, they could come down the road in adding services. Brown shared, they would likely add Behavioral Health first. They will be looking at adding a LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social worker) who can help identify problems with depression, anxiety, potential for teen suicide and other behavioral health issues that don’t involve medication.

Sterling operates on an integrated health behavioral model at their other locations in Bath, Montgomery and Menifee Counties. For example, Initial patient screenings for migraine headaches may uncover a link to depressions, or diabetes.

Sterling operates dental facilities in other counties as well and will assess the need for that service here in Nicholas County in the future. A registered dietician is another service that could be added at some point.
As a Federally Qualified health Center (FQHC) a percentage of their operating budget comes from federal dollars. They are therefore required to provide service to those who don’t have insurance or who are on Medicaid. They are also operated by a board that is made up of 51% patient users. It’s the patients who govern the organization. With the addition of the Nicholas County Urgent Care clinic to Sterling locations they will be looking to add a Nicholas County representative to their board.

The Community Health Centers they operate serve the “medically needy”. Founded during the “war on poverty” fifty years ago, they provide services to the medically underserved to provide health care to anybody in the community with need regardless of their ability to pay or not. Patients without insurance can pay a sliding fee scale based on income and family size, which could start as low as $20 for an office visit. There are (22) FQHC’s in Kentucky.
Sterling Health is also renting space currently at the Old Hospital where the Senior Center and Community Action are now located. They will be adding services and personnel there “for sure” if the grant they have applied for is approved in January. Otherwise, they will do a “needs analysis” and add services at the Old Hospital location if a need is found that they can meet. If the grant is approved, funding requires that the facility be operational and seeing patients within 180 days after the grant is awarded.

For the immediate future, Brown says Sterling Health Solutions will be working on collaborations with area Hospitals and other health care facilities operating in Nicholas County including the Public Health Department. And, they will know in days or weeks if they will be adding services and personnel at the Old Hospital.