The center, with clinics in Superior and Duluth, serves about 10,000 patients a year. Yet Dr. Emily Anderson, medical director, calls it one of the best-kept secrets in the Twin Ports.
Kim Kervina didn’t find LSCHC until her life went from abundance to nothing. She lost her income and home with two teenagers to care for.
“We were really struggling, and I went there and they just embraced me,” Kervina said.
She now has health insurance, but continues to go to LSCHC.
“It’s just a great place for everybody, and I didn’t even know about it prior to, you know, losing everything,” said Kervina, of Duluth. “They got me through some really rough times.”
She’s been serving on the center’s board of directors for the past three years, helping raise awareness of this hidden resource. LSCHC is part of a national web of federally qualified health centers providing care in underserved areas.
“We’re not a free clinic – patients are billed but never turned away for inability to pay,” said Lee Homan, of the center’s marketing and business development department. “If a patient needs to work out a payment plan, we’re incredibly flexible — sometimes only asking for a dollar a month if it’s all they can afford.”
Another misconception out there is that LSCHC is only for people without insurance. That’s not the case.
“People with insurance feel like if they come to the practice, they will take the spot of someone who needs it, but in fact it’s just the opposite,” Homan said. “If they bring their insurance to our practices, it actually creates additional spots and allows us to expand access to those who need it most.”
The center seeks to fill gaps in health care. It expanded behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services in 2018: Dr. Kara McGillivray’s chiropractic office joined the team in June. Although the chiropractic office is in Duluth, that hasn’t been a barrier for Superior patients. They have provided taxi vouchers for patients to get them to the Duluth office, Anderson said.
LSCHC focuses on a team approach to health care for all ages, integrating the many areas into a holistic approach. The chiropractic office provides a new option in their toolbox, one Anderson said has been popular.
“Integrative health care really aligns itself with the mission of chiropractic care, which involves comprehensive treatment of the whole person, prevention of health problems before they arise and setting a foundation for overall health,” McGillivray said. “LSCHC is dedicated to providing care for everyone in need, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. I had the opportunity to shadow several of Lake Superior’s amazing providers, as well as supporting team members and witnessed so much compassion and kindness toward every patient.”
There’s been an increased need for behavioral health care as well as a steady need for access to medical care during the pandemic, Anderson said, and an ongoing need for dental care. LSCHS opened a new dental clinic in Carlton in August, providing closer access for patients outside the Twin Ports area.
“We’re always trying to improve what we’re doing — improve access, improve integration, removing barriers,” Anderson said.
Tele-health visits are also available, if patients choose. Call 715-392-1955 in Superior, 218-722-1497 in Duluth or visit lschc.org/ for more information.
This content was originally published here.