Months of hard work finally paid off for the many individuals involved in the creation Harman Health Center's creation as the facility was able to accept patients for the first time Monday.
Patients at the Harman Health Center will be seen by registered nurses Mandy Nucilli, Sierra Kile, Patty Mullenax and Physician Assistant Jeff Jones. Three physicians will frequent the center on monthly rotations, including pediatrician Dr. King Seegar and family practitioners Dr. Laura Nulph and Dr. Carman Rexrode, both qualified to provide women's health services.
Pendleton Community Care aims to continue its mission of overcoming barriers and enhancing access to healthcare by opening the Harman Health Center for the Harman community and surrounding areas.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Anna Patrick
Ronald Mullennex receives a flu shot from head nurse Mandy Nucilli at the Harman Health Center during its first day of operation Monday.
Based out of Franklin, Pendleton Community Care is led by CEO Michael Judy and is a federally qualified health center (FQHC), which operates two satellite sites, Riverton and Harman, as well as its main site in Franklin. Pendleton Community Care is a not-for-profit organization able to offer a sliding fee pay scale to allow people of all ages from all financial bases to receive healthcare.
As a qualified FQHC, Pendleton Community Care was able to apply for a federal grant offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make the Harman Health Center a reality.
Judy said the organization's first attempt at the grant failed, but when more money became available the organization was first in line to receive aid. The organization received notice in June 2012 of the grant's success and began almost immediately on the construction, he said.
The Harman Health Center was constructed by Roberts Estate Inc. based out of Hendricks and is located on property leased by Dan and Judy Bucher along U.S. Rt. 32 and Mott Street in Harman.
"As soon as we can get things ready we will be opening a pharmacy next door," Judy said. The pharmacy will be connected to the center and will employ two pharmacy technicians and one pharmacist.
Nucilli said the pharmacy will be very convenient for local residents, especially the elderly, who have previously needed to travel 30 minutes to Elkins to fill prescriptions.
"(The clinic) is going to benefit the people of Harman," Office Manager Sundae Warner said.
Nucilli, a longtime resident of Dryfork, understands that visiting a medical provider can make people uncomfortable, but she hopes that having familiar faces working in the center will make it easier for folks seeking healthcare.
"Once we get everything settled, it will be really nice," she said.
Judy said the idea to create the Harman Health Center was presented to the Pendleton Community Care Board of Directors by Bucher and a group of community members in 2010.
Bucher's father, Samuel Bucher, provided primary care to the residents of Harman and surrounding areas for approximately 45 years. Since his retirement in 1991 Harman has not had a full-time medical provider, until now.
"It wasn't a thing where we were looking for some place to be The community came to us and presented a need," Judy said. "Our board of directors reviewed that request and wanted to honor that need."
"Pendleton Community Care has always had a reputation for excellent service," Bucher said. "It's a good organization to encourage to come to Harman."
Since Bucher and his wife purchased the land they always had high hopes for it.
"When we bought the property my wife and I thought it would be the perfect place for a clinic," Bucher said. "I'm just so appreciative that this could happen for the Harman community."
The Harman Health Center's hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday. Walk-ins are always accepted, but appointments are encouraged by calling the center at 304-227-4134.